Prince Joachim of Denmark took his youngest two children, Prince Henrik and Princess Athena, with him to see Fjord & Bælt’s newly renovated underwater tunnel on Wednesday, 15 March in Kerteminde.
The refurbishment and re-opening were done in honour of the 20th anniversary of the experience and research centre. Prince Joachim was there to inaugurate the new tunnel and open the 20th anniversary exhibit, “The Sea Around Us.” Prince Henrik had the honour of cutting the ribbon during the opening ceremony.
Prince Joachim commented to reporters about bringing his children, “In today’s official task, it was obvious for me to bring the kids so they could get an unusual experience. We had to sacrifice a school day, but I think it is far more learning in this than just sitting at a desk and talk with each other.”
The director of Fjord & Bælt, Mette Thybo spoke at the opening, as did the Mayor of Kerteminde, Hans Luunbjerg about the centre’s impact on the city and its future.
According to the Royal Danish House, “Experience and research centre Fjord & Bælt focuses, among other things through research, exhibitions, school services and activities to disseminate life in the inner Danish waters.”
Both seven-year-old Prince Henrik and five-year-old Princess Athena were full of energy and were able to feed and pet a porpoise, while their father took photos and videos on his phone; he will undoubtedly show them to Princess Marie after she returns home from her four-day trip to Greenland on behalf of the National Association for Autism. She was in the country for a conference with the organisation and will complete her visit today.
Young Henrik and Athena, who were taken out of school for the event, were also taken below sea level in the tunnel to see the porpoises, whales, and seals and interviewed by Danish news, Billed Bladet about their experience. It was unique that Prince Henrik and Princess Athena were interviewed at the event since interviewing Scandinavian royal children is very rare.
The reporter asked Athena what was the most fun from the day, and she timidly responded, “Playing. No…to be in the tunnel.”
Henrik, for his part, remarked that he enjoyed getting to meet the whale, Frøya. “That we could touch it and feed it. It was very funny,” the Prince responded when questioned on what he enjoyed about being near Frøya.
Prince Joachim then told the publication, “They [the children] must be open to experience new things, but also get to know the nature. When we now have the unique chance to be so close to a whale, we must take advantage of that opportunity.”