Princess Marie of Denmark wasn’t convinced she should accept Prince Joachim’s proposal, as she was concerned about what a Royal life would bring to her, and her independence.
Speaking to Danish paper Jyllands-Posten, Marie, who turns 40 on Saturday, admits she was born into a privileged French family, but she worried what life as a Royal meant.
Having attended university in both Europe and America, Marie Cavallier started a career in marketing. It was in 2006 she met Prince Joachim, her future husband, at a party. The press began to take an interest in the multi-lingual French girl who caught the eye of the newly-divorced Prince.
“I’d been fending for myself for years, and it felt overwhelming that suddenly everyone apparently had an opinion about me,” Marie explained. “I had a great life – I didn’t need to be rescued by some prince from Denmark.”
“There was no doubt in my heart that I loved him, but I had my life. I was happy, and I had my pride. I simply was not ready to get married and take on the responsibility it would be to become part of the Royal Family,” she said.
Joachim and Marie married in 2008 at Møgeltønder Church, and their first child, Prince Henrik was born in 2009. Princess Athena arrived in 2011.
It may have been something to do with her childhood that she was so reluctant to accept the proposla: aged 11, Marie’s parents divorced and turned her world upside down. She was moved to Geneva with her mother and new stepfather, and came to live with her four half-brothers.
“Because of the divorce, my family was no longer the safe haven that I once knew,” the Princess said.
“My father was very sad, and my mother had a new man I’d never met before. It’s no secret that I was not fond of my mother’s decision. I was actually very angry with her.
“Although my mother has always been great to me, I’ve always loved my father very much, and I began to fantasize about getting away,” Marie continued.
“When I was 13 years old, we found an international boarding school in Switzerland,” she said. “It was my own choice [to go there] – and it proved to be exactly what I needed.”
Now, The Countess of Montzepat – Marie’s subsidiary title – lives at Schackenborg Castle with husband Joachim, 46, and their children, and she strived to create a safe environment for them to blossom, in a way she felt she could not at home.
“I want to create a home for my children where they feel safe and develop their confidence. Today I have a great relationship with my parents, I love my father and I love my mother, and we can even sit down together sometimes, but it’s been difficult.”
She added, “It’s turned out well for me in the end, but for a long time, I found it difficult to trust others.”