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The Story Behind That Picture VIII
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 2009 Thorsten Overgaard / Getty Images / LIFE / WireImage

The Story Behind That Picture: "The Crown Prince and I"

By: Thorsten Overgaard [In Danish]

I spent quite some royal moments the past week. Thursday I shot the Queen Margrethe II and Prince Henrik arriving with the Royal Yacht in early morning, and two hours later I covered their son, Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, opening a new freight center. And then Friday I covered Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary open ‘their’ outdoor art expo, Sculpture By The Sea. And that’s where this week’s photo is from.

   2009 Thorsten Overgaard / Getty Images / LIFE / WireImage
Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark

We just finished the election in Denmark Sunday, and there was a bonus vote we had to decide on: A change of the constitution if a female can be heir to the throne? 78% of the voters were for, so there it is. No matter the sex of Frederik and Mary’s grandchild, he or she will be heir to the throne.

But that’s a day later than the photo, so that’s not the reason for his expression. In fact, he was in a tremendous mood and did great speeches, though the media was occupied with the ‘fact’ that not enough voters might cast their vote, which would mean the constitution would disallow female crown princesses in the future.

Just before the above picture were taken, the crown prince had held a very entertaining speech about how he and Mary saw the Sculpture By The Sea in Australia, and how they were only friends “but I sensed some possibilities,” as he said.

Now, nine years later they are married, have two children and the fact that the Sculpture By The Sea expo is now opening in Aarhus, is because the crown prince and the crown princess lobbied the mayor and the director of the ARoS Art Museum into the idea.

So in many ways it was a happy day. It was also a day off as we celebrated constitution day here in Denmark. Which meant my youngest daughter Robin’s kindergarten was closed. She’s five years but coped very well with all the security and people moving around to get a good view of the royals. We followed them for a good hour and then returned home as it was raining.

Technically the above photo is a crop of a larger as you can see below. I instantly liked the expression and already then thought it would make a great stamp one day. It could probably be edited in many ways, but for this weeks photo I decided to color the foreground and background persons in the color of the sky – mainly to get the wide size. Maybe it’s a bit plastic like this, but I’m sure I will be using it several times in the future. I simply like the expression of happiness, comfort, casual dress, and of course the light that makes his eyes sparkle without any tricks applied.

 2009 Thorsten Overgaard / Getty Images / LIFE / WireImage
Here's a view of the uncropped and unedited file for those interested.

Anyway, a week with lots of royal photos which you can see a great deal of at LIFE.COM if you go look for them.

Those who know photography will notice how close many of the shots are. And you can in fact move in very close because things are just very relaxed here around. A handfull of security people and some police make the apparant low security scene. So basically manners are the only barrier between the royals and you as a photographer.

In one of the coming weeks I will try to get into portrait photography as I've done a lot of them lately, and I know many wonder how to do them - wheter they're in front of the camera or behind it. So I look forward to that.

- Thorsten Overgaard

    June 8, 2009
An edited shot of the Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark and Princess Mary admiring art pieces at the outdoor art expo Sculpture By The Sea in Denmark. Photographed with Leica R8/DMR and Leica 35-70mm Vario-Elmarit-R f/2.8

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Thorsten Overgaard
Thorsten von Overgaard is a Danish-American multiple award-winning photographer, known for his writings about photography and Leica cameras. He travels to more than 25 countries a year, photographing and teaching workshops to photographers. Some photos are available as signed editions via galleries or online. For specific photography needs, contact Thorsten Overgaard via email.

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