Alexandra, Countess of Frederiksborg

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Alexandra
Countess of Frederiksborg
Prinsesse Alexandra.jpg
The then Princess Alexandra in Aalborg, 2004
BornAlexandra Christina Manley
(1964-06-30) 30 June 1964 (age 55)
Hong Kong
Spouse
Issue
FatherRichard Nigel Manley
MotherChrista Maria Nowotny

Alexandra, Countess of Frederiksborg , RE (néeAlexandra Christina Manley; born 30 June 1964) is the former first wife of Prince Joachim of Denmark, the younger son of Margrethe II of Denmark.

Contents

She was born in Hong Kong and is of mixed Chinese-European ancestry. She was introduced to Prince Joachim in 1994. They married in 1995 and had two sons together, until the marriage was dissolved in 2005.

Early life and family

Of English, Chinese, Czech, and Austrian ancestry, Alexandra Manley was born in Hong Kong, as the eldest of three daughters of Richard Nigel Manley (born in Shanghai, China on 11 August 1924 [1] to a father of English and Chinese ancestry, died 12 January 2010, [1] buried 10 February 2010 in Liesing Cemetery, Vienna [1] ) and Christa Maria Manley of Czech and Austrian descent (born Christa Maria Nowotny in Austria in 1933). Her father was an insurance company executive and her mother was the manager of a communications company. She was christened at the Cathedral of Saint John, Hong Kong. She attended Quarry Bay Junior School (1969–1971), Glenealy School (1971–1974) and Island School (1974–1982), [2] all in Hong Kong.

Manley studied international business at Vienna University of Economics and Business in Austria. She also went to Japan and England for studies. It is not known whether she obtained a university degree. From 1990 to 1995, she was employed by GT Management (Asia) Ltd., Hong Kong, where from 1990–1993 she worked in Sales and Marketing and from 1993 as a deputy chief executive of that department.

First marriage and children

Alexandra met Prince Joachim at a party in Hong Kong, where he was working for a Danish shipping company. After a whirlwind courtship, thought to have begun in late 1994, Prince Joachim, on bended knee, presented Alexandra with a diamond and ruby engagement ring while the couple vacationed together in the Philippines. Their engagement, which took both Alexandra's family and Danish royal Watchers by surprise, was officially revealed in May 1995.

They were married on 18 November 1995, by Queen Margrethe's Chaplain-in-Ordinary, in the Chapel of Frederiksborg Castle at Hillerød. The wedding festivities were held at Fredensborg Palace. The bride's gown was designed by Jørgen Bender; she wore the Alexandrine Drop Tiara, originally the property of Alexandrine of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, which was a wedding gift from Queen Margrethe. [3]

When she married Prince Joachim, she gave up her career in marketing. It is believed that she had renounced her British citizenship prior to become a Danish subject upon her marriage. [4]

Prince Joachim and Princess Alexandra have two children from their former marriage:

Life as a princess

Alexandra became popular with the Danish people. Known for her fashion sense and charity work, she was dubbed the Diana of the North. She is a native English and German speaker (through her father and mother, respectively), and her fluency in German helped her pick up the Danish language quickly. Within a few months she spoke it nearly without accent, which further endeared her to the Danes. As she said in an interview, "I don't find the grammar especially difficult, but the pronunciation can be hard, since we swallow some of our words. It reminds me a little of Chinese, with the glottal stop … Saying something with an upswing or a downswing can give a word an entirely different meaning," she explained. "It was my decision to learn the language immediately. It would have been terrible to have to stand up and speak English at an engagement, or thank someone for something. It would have been utterly wrong. This is my home, and so there was no other option".

Both during and after her marriage, she was involved in numerous philanthropic pursuits, including the Children's Red Cross, the Danish Society for the Blind, UNICEF, and single mothers' advocacy group Mother Help. She also served as a UNICEF ambassador when she travelled to Thailand to visit HIV/AIDS patients. [5]

End of marriage

By mid-2004, rumours were circulating throughout Denmark and neighbouring Sweden and Norway that her marriage to Prince Joachim had gone sour. On 16 September 2004, Alexandra and Joachim announced their separation and eventual intention to divorce. It would be the first in the Royal Family since 1846. Newspaper reports speculating on the reasons for the marital rupture soon followed. The Folketing decided to put Alexandra on the civil list for life, independent of her possible future remarriage. Alexandra's payments of her new yearly allowance of 2.1m kroner (US$330,000) started retroactively from 1 October 2004. The couple divorced on 8 April 2005.

On 23 June 2017, she announced that she would renounce her entitlement to the Danish civil list in July 2020, coinciding with the 18th birthday of Prince Felix. [6]

Second marriage and current life

In mid-2005 there were reports and pictures of Alexandra together with Martin Jørgensen (b. 2 March 1978 in Valby), the son of Jacob Jørgensen. Jacob Jørgensen is well known in Denmark for his film production company JJ Film, which produced numerous documentaries in which members of the royal family co-operated and participated.

She married Martin Jørgensen on 3 March 2007 [7] in a private ceremony at Øster Egede Church near Fakse. [8] In September 2015, it was announced that Jørgensen and the Countess were divorcing after eight and a half years of marriage. The Countess had cited differences in values as the reason for the divorce. [9] [10] According to Royal Central, the divorce was finalized in 2015. [11]

In 2007 the Countess of Frederiksborg joined the Danish board of directors of Ferring Pharmaceuticals. [12]

In 2017, it was announced that she would take up the position of Poling Chair of Business and Government at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business. [13] In August 2017 she attended the 18th birthday party of her son Prince Nikolai along with many members of the royal family, including Queen Margrethe II. [14]

Titles, styles, honours and arms

Alexandra's monogram Royal Monogram of Princess Alexandra of Denmark.svg
Alexandra's monogram

Titles and styles

Honours

National honours

Foreign honours

Arms

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