Prince Joachim's wife is Princess Mary's doppelgänger

Katherine Chatfield
·Columnist
·6-min read

The younger brother of Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, Prince Joachim Holger Waldemar Christian was born on 7 June 1969 to Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik.

He is sixth in line to the Danish throne, after his brother Frederik and Frederik’s four children.

Prince Joachim of Denmark visits the 'HUSUM Wind' wind energy trade fair in Husum, Germany, 14 September 2017. The trade fair is to run until 15 September 2017. Photo: Markus Scholz/dpa (Photo by Markus Scholz/picture alliance via Getty Images)
Prince Joachim of Denmark is Frederik's younger brother. Photo: Getty

Who is Prince Joachim married to?

Joachim is married to Princess Marie of Denmark [formerly Marie Cavallier], who is his second wife. The couple first met at a dinner party when Joachim was married to his first wife, Alexandra, Countess of Fredensborg. Marie is French, and Joachim was the only other guest who spoke French, so they were seated next to each other. “Marie had never been to Denmark, it was fun to talk to her,” he has said. “Our romance, however, started much later.” The pair were first seen together in 2005 on holiday – the same year Joachim and Alexandra got divorced. They announced their engagement in 2007, and were married at Møgeltønder Church on 24 May 2008.

Why does Princess Marie look so much like Princess Mary?

Much has been made of the fact that Joachim and his big brother Frederik married women who look very similar. Some royal watchers believe the likeness between the two women has been a bone of contention between the brothers, with Frederik feeling that Joachim was trying to copy every aspect of his life. It’s also been reported that Marie is jealous of Mary’s role as Queen in waiting, and feels pushed aside by current monarch, Queen Margrethe. “It’s no secret behind palace walls that Marie is jealous of Mary and does whatever she can to make her life hell,” according to a royal insider. As well as looking alike, having almost the same name, and a very similar dress-sense, both women worked in advertising before marrying into the royal family.

PARIS, FRANCE - OCTOBER 08: (L-R) Princess Marie of Denmark, Prince Joachim of Denmark, Crown Princess Mary of Denmark and Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark attend a Grand dinner at the Town Hall on October 08, 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by Pierre Suu/Getty Images)
Princess Marie of Denmark, Prince Joachim of Denmark, Crown Princess Mary of Denmark and Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark. Photo: Getty

Who was Prince Joachim’s first wife?

Joachim married his first wife, Alexandra Manley, in 1995. Alexandra become known as Alexandra, Princess of Denmark. The couple announced their separation in 2004, after months of speculation they had grown apart.

“After many difficult considerations, we have jointly decided to separate with the intention of seeking a divorce," they said in a statement. They divorced in 2005. When Alexandra remarried in 2007, she lost her title and became known as Alexandra, Countess of Frediksborg. She has since divorced again.

COPENHAGEN, DENMARK - AUGUST 28: Prince Joachim and Princess Marie together with their children and Jochim's former wife Alexandra Christina Manley at the dinner party to celebrate the 18th birthday of Prince Nokolai (R- 3rd) hosted by Queen Margrethe of Denmark on the royal ship Dannebrog at the quay next to Amalienborg on August 28, 2017 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Prince Nikolai is the son of Prince Joachim and his former wife Alexandra Christina Manley. Following this event Dannebrog leaves Copenhagen Tuesday for Bornholm in the Baltic Sea, where the Queen commence a three day visit.  (Photo by Ole Jensen - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)
Prince Joachim and Princess Marie together with their children and Joachim's former wife Alexandra Christina Manley. Photo: Getty

Does Prince Joachim have any children?

Yes, he has four children. He has two sons from his first marriage, Prince Nikolai, who was born in 1999, and Prince Felix, who was born in 2002. With his second wife, he has Prince Henrik, who was born in 2009, and Princess Athena, who was born in 2012.

Is Prince Joachim happily married?

Yes, he has spoken openly about how happy Princess Marie makes him, saying she’s “extremely attractive”, and that there is “something very profound” about her.

He is also on friendly terms with his first wife, Alexandra. Joachim and Marie regularly spend New Year’s celebrations with Alexandra, and Alexandra was at the family celebrations for her and Joachim’s son Felix’s 18th birthday as well.

COPENHAGEN, DENMARK - APRIL 16: Prince Joachim (R) and his wife Princess Marie (L) together with their children appears at the balcony of the Royal residence, Amalienborg  Palace, on the occasion of her 78th birthday of Queen Margrethe of Denmark on April 16, 2018 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Hundreds of Copenhageners, tourists and in particular kindergarten children attended the event and as tradition commends the children shouted again and again: 'Queen, Queen come forward'. And then first the Queen comes, a little later rest of the family. (Photo by Ole Jensen - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)
Prince Joachim and Princess Marie married on 24 May 2008. Photo: Getty

What does Prince Joachim do?

He works in the military, where his career started in 1987. He became a lieutenant colonel, and in 2019 he and his family moved to France where he enrolled in France’s highest ranking military leadership training, after being invited to do so by the French minister of Defence. He passed his training in June 2020, and was the first ever Danish officer to do so.

He also has business interests; he owns and runs faming and forestry operations, based on conventional agriculture. He also collects a royal salary.

He is due to start his ‘dream job’ as a diplomat at the Danish Embassy in Paris, in September 2020.

Where does Prince Joachim live?

Joachim’s official Danish residence is at the royal palace of Emiliekildevej in Copenhagen, but in April 2020, he announced that when he is not in Paris, his family will move to the Danish Schackenborg Castle, where they have previously lived for short periods of time. He and Princess Marie are on the board at the castle, so regularly return to live there. Princess Marie has said it is where she feels most at home: “This is where Prince Joachim and I got married. This is where our lovely children were born. And, therefore, it is the place where I feel at home,” she said.

Princess Marie of Denmark and Prince Joachim of Denmark arrive for the state dinner at Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen on August 28, 2018. (Photo by ludovic MARIN / AFP)        (Photo credit should read LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP via Getty Images)
Princess Marie and Prince Joachim of Denmark arrive for the state dinner at Christiansborg Palace in 2018. Photo: Getty

Does Prince Joachim like being part of the royal family?

When Prince Joachim announced he and his family would be moving to France to allow him to complete his military training, speculation grew that he was trying to distance himself from the royal family, with the Danish press reporting that Joachim was “keeping his future options open,” and considering “cutting his ties” with the rest of the family.

Prince Joachim announced publicly he was “strongly encouraged to move to France by the Queen.” However, this didn’t stop the rumour mill spinning, with some suggesting this simply added weight to the theory that Prince Joachim isn’t well-liked by his own family.

Do Prince Joachim and Crown Prince Frederik get on?

There have been rumours of a feud between the two brothers for many years. It’s believed Joachim felt Frederik, who was known as a party boy before he married Princess Mary, was always treated as the favourite by their parents, and given special dispensation as the heir, despite his “lax attitude” to his royal obligations. This was thought to have caused some resentment on the behalf of Prince Joachim. There has also reportedly been some competition between their wives, Princess Mary and Princess Marie, who look strikingly similar.

COPENHAGEN, DENMARK - JUNE 5:  Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark and Prince Joachim of Denmark at Christiansborg Palace on the occasion of The 100th Anniversary of The 1915 Danish Constitution, on June 5th, 2015 in Copenhagen, Denmark  (Photo by Julian Parker/UK Press via Getty Images)
There have been rumours of a feud between Joachim and Frederik for years. Photo: Getty

Rumours of a feud were put to bed in October 2019, when Joachim, Frederik and their wives met up in Paris. They were seen hugging each other, and Frederik told reporters it was “great” to see his brother.

How many languages does Prince Joachim speak?

His mother tongue is Danish, but he also speaks fluent French, English and German.

What’s happening with Prince Joachim’s health?

On Friday 24 July, Prince Joachim was rushed to Toulouse University hospital in France, where he was operated on immediately for a blood clot on the brain. The surgery was successful.

His doctors later announced: “The blood clot in the brain was due to a sudden dissection of an artery, and the hospital’s medical team estimates that the risk of recurrence is very small once the artery has healed….It is the doctor’s assessment that Prince Joachim will not have physical or other consequences as a result of the blood clot.”

Prince Joachim has no history of illness.

This photo taken on July 27, 2020 shows an ambulance parked at the entrance of the Hospital Pierre-Paul Riquet of the University Hospital Centre (CHU) Purpan in Toulouse, southern France where Danish prince Joachim is hospitalised. - Danish Prince Joachim, 51, was operated successfully, from a blood clot in his brain at the CHU Toulouse. His state is "stable" announced the Royal Court on July 25, 2020. (Photo by Lionel BONAVENTURE / AFP) (Photo by LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP via Getty Images)
Prince Joachim was rushed to Toulouse University hospital on July 24. Photo: Getty

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