, , , , , , , ,

So the Danish royal family and some of their nearest and dearest friends gathered in Møgeltønder Church this afternoon to christen the newest princess. According to Danish tradition, this is when the princess’ names would be announced, so I was really looking forward to hearing what she’d be called.

Her full name is Princess Athena Marguerite Françoise Marie of Denmark, Countess of Monpezat. (The Monpezat title comes from being a male-line descendant of Prince Henrik, Queen Margrethe’s husband and Count of Monpezat. All of Margrethe and Henrik’s children and grand-children have the title.) As a child of the younger son of the Sovereign, she will be known as “Her Highness.”

Pardon my surprise, but for me, Athena came straight out of left field. The Danish and Greek royals are related (Margrethe’s sister Anne Marie married the King of Greece), but I hadn’t expected such a Greek name. The French names are a little more expected, seeing as Princess Marie is French herself. Marguerite is the French version of the name Margrethe, and Françoise is the name of Princess Marie’s mother. Marie is most likely after Princess Marie herself.

Athena is, of course, the Greek goddess of wisdom, but in all my days of royal fandom I have only ever come across one “Princess Athena,” and she was a character in a silly, little-known renaissance faire-esque film called Quest of the Delta Knights, a movie that was mocked on the 90s television show Mystery Science Theater 3000. As a result, I feel as though I have no other choice but to nickname this little one Princess Thena, as the character in the movie was called. (Danish Monarchy fans, don’t worry. Thena was an ally of the main hero and saved his life at the end of the film.) You know what, though? Kudos to Joachim and Marie for keeping people like me on our toes.

And what is a baby post without a picture? Here are the happy parents (in appropriate pink) with little Thena:

Prince Joachim, Princess Marie, and Princess Athena of Denmark

Photo by Christian Meyer, Kongehuset; courtesy the Danish Monarchy

Note: Apparently the Swedes moved little Estelle’s christening when I wasn’t paying attention: I knew I hadn’t heard anything, but I realize I reported it as happening on May 16. It has since been moved to May 22, and hopefully the Swedish Monarchy will post some pictures.