Alexandra, Countess of Frederiksborg
|Countess of Frederiksborg|
|Born||Alexandra Christina Manley|
30 June 1964
(m. 1995; div. 2005)
(m. 2007; div. 2015)
|Father||Richard Nigel Manley|
|Mother||Christa Maria Nowotny|
She was born in Hong Kong and is of mixed Asian-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 familyEdit
Of English, Chinese, Czech, Iranian, Armenian 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 to a father of English, Armenian, Iranian and Chinese ancestry, died 12 January 2010, buried 10 February 2010 in Liesing Cemetery, Vienna) 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), 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 to 1993 she worked in Sales and Marketing and from 1993 as a deputy chief executive of that department.
First marriage and childrenEdit
Alexandra met Prince Joachim at a private dinner in Hong Kong in January 1994, where he was working for a Danish shipping company. After a whirlwind courtship, thought to have begun in late 1994, Prince Joachim presented Alexandra with a diamond and ruby engagement ring while on vacation in the Philippines. Their engagement was officially announced in May 1995.
They were married on 18 November 1995, by Queen Margrethe's Chaplain-in-Ordinary, in Frederiksborg Castle Church, the Chapel of the Order of the Elephant, in Hillerød. The wedding festivities were held at Fredensborg Palace. The bride's gown was designed by Jørgen Bender and she wore the Alexandrine Drop Tiara, originally the property of Alexandrine of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, which was a wedding gift from Queen Margrethe.
When Alexandra married 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.
Through the span of their 9-year marriage, Joachim and Alexandra welcomed two sons. On 28 August 1999, Prince Nikolai, the first grandchild of the Queen and Prince Consort, was born. His younger brother, Prince Felix, followed three years later on 22 July 2002.
Life as a princessEdit
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 Youth 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.
End of marriageEdit
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. 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.
Second marriage and current lifeEdit
As early as mid-2005, there were reports and pictures of Alexandra with Martin Jørgensen, the son of Jacob Jørgensen, a well-known film producer whose company, JJ Film, has produced – and continues to produce – numerous documentaries in which the Danish royal family has participated.
Alexandra married Martin Jørgensen on 3 March 2007 in a private ceremony at Øster Egede Church near Fakse. She was walked down the aisle by her sons, Nikolai and Felix. Aside from the young princes, no one from the Danish royal family attended the ceremony. 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. The divorce was finalised in 2015.
In 2007, the Countess of Frederiksborg joined the Danish board of directors of Ferring Pharmaceuticals. 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.
Alexandra still occasionally attends events with her former husband and the rest of the Danish royal family. Among other events, in 2012, she attended a gala performance at Koncerthuset in honour of Queen Margrethe II's 40th jubilee, and in 2018, she attended the gala dinner for her former brother-in-law Crown Prince Frederik's 50th birthday at Christiansborg Palace.
Titles, styles, honours and armsEdit
Titles and stylesEdit
- 30 June 1964 – 18 November 1995: Miss Alexandra Christina Manley
- 18 November 1995 – 8 April 2005: Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra of Denmark
- 8 April 2005 – 16 April 2005: Her Highness Princess Alexandra of Denmark
- 16 April 2005 – 3 March 2007: Her Highness Princess Alexandra, The Countess of Frederiksborg
- 3 March 2007 – present: Her Excellency The Countess of Frederiksborg
- Grand Cross of the Order of the White Rose of Finland
- Grand Cross of the Order of Adolphe of Nassau
- Grand Cross of the Order of the Star of Romania
- "Vienna Burial and Death records". Archived from the original on 31 August 2015. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
- "Prince Joachim". Danmarkskonger.dk. Archived from the original on 1 August 2017. Retrieved 19 August 2017.
- "Lov om meddelelse af dansk indfødsret til Alexandra Christina Manley". retsinformation.dk.
- "Denmark's Princess Alexandra reflects on life at 40". Denmark.dk. Archived from the original on 22 January 2016. Retrieved 19 August 2017.
- "Grevinde Alexandra frasiger sig sin ydelse fra staten". Berlingske Tidende (in Danish). 23 June 2017. Retrieved 24 June 2017.
- "Denmark's Princess Alexandra to remarry". The Sydney Morning Herald. 8 February 2007.
- "Princess Alexandra Marries Danish Photographer". Life of Guangzhou. Agency Free Press. Archived from the original on 21 February 2018. Retrieved 21 November 2012.
- "Grevinde Alexandra om brud med Martin Jørgensen: Derfor skal vi skilles". Politiken (in Danish). 8 September 2015. Retrieved 25 September 2015.
- "Grevinde Alexandra og Martin Jørgensen skal skilles". Berlingske Tidende (in Danish). 8 September 2015. Retrieved 22 May 2017.
- "Alexandra i Ferrings bestyrelse" [Alexandra in the board of directors of Ferring]. DR Nyheder (in Danish). 26 September 2007.
- "Countess to serve as Poling Chair at Kelley School of Business". News at IU. Retrieved 19 October 2017.
- "Gæsteliste ved Festforestilling i DR's Koncerthus". Danish royal family. Retrieved 5 May 2021.
- "Gæsteliste ved gallataffel på Christiansborg Slot". Danish royal family. Retrieved 5 May 2021.