The Danish royals have a lot to celebrate this year. Princess Marie of Denmark celebrated her 40th birthday while Queen Magrette is marking 44 years on the throne, so the family invited Hello! to Amalienborg Palace for a rare photoshoot and interview. It seems that Marie and her husband Prince Joachim, who posed with their two children and pet dog, loved the pictures so much that they decided to publish a sampling on the palace's official website.
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Three pictures from the magazine shoot were released on the Kongehuset website and show Marie, who celebrated her birthday on Saturday, taking centre stage.
The Paris-born royal is pictured in a reception room with her daughter Athena on her lap, while her doting husband Joachim and her six-year-old son Henrik sit either side. The family's adorable dog Abelle also made an appearance.
The other two pictures taken by photographer Andrea Savini show Marie and Joachim posing in different rooms in the Amalienborg complex, the family's winter residence made up of four palaces that has belonged to the Danish royals since 1795.
Speaking exclusively to HELLO!, the couple, who are styled as the Counts of Monpezat, opened up about how they met at a hunt, and how they're raising their two beautiful children.
"It was pure coincidence that we met," said Joachim, who was previously married to Alexandra Manley, Countess of Frederiksborg, with whom he has two sons.
"I was married at the time. But because we happened to be the only two French-speaking people at the dinner, our host seated us next to each other. And as Marie had never been to Denmark it was fun to talk to her. Our romance, however, started much later."
Praising his wife, Joachim added: "She has the ability to reach people's hearts. It's true that when you see a glossy photo, there's no doubt that she's extremely attractive, but that's just the beginning. When you talk to her, you realise there's something very profound."
The couple welcomed their first child Henrik, whom Joachim describes as "extremely good-natured but can be stubborn," in 2009. Athena, who is "the Viking in the family," was born three years later.
"We've always tried to bring them up so that they never feel different from other kids," Joachim added. "Of course we have to teach them that there are times when they'll be on the balcony with their grandmother and there'll be a lot of photographers taking pictures of us. But that's just part of the position, something you live with."