The Three Great Loves of A Fairy-Tale Princess

By Penelope Brooke-Hamilton.

At the tender age of 18, I moved from Australia to live in Germany as an exchange student and was very fortunate in having a wonderful host family who lived in the North-Rhine Westphalia region of Germany. Nestled against the boarders with Holland and Belgium, this region is famously Rhine country with low-lying plains wound through with rivers and despite its large cities, is also over three quarters forest and agricultural land dotted with medieval and gorgeously turreted castles.

Burg Bentheim and its moat from the air.

Burg Bentheim and its moat from the air.

In one such picturesque castle, Burg Bentheim, lives a thoroughly modern princess and her family; Hereditary Princess Elna-Margret of Bentheim and Steinfurt; Author, Columnist, TV Presenter, Fashion Expert and Food Creator. Add to this impressive list of accomplishments wife, mother, entrepreneur and active member of the royal family and you have a story-book heroine almost too talented to be true.

Elna-Margret relishes setting herself high goals and new ventures, proving what we’ve always known, that real-life princesses make wonderful role-models. Behind her beauty and serenity lies a warm-hearted woman, dedicated to creating a legacy her people, her family and her fans would be inspired by. Her latest project is authoring a book Anti-Aging Foods – Eat What Makes You Glow which encapsulates her wholesome and beneficial philosophy towards beauty and the pleasures of food.

Elna-Margret’s new book Anti-Aging Food #EatWhatMakesYouGlow

Elna-Margret’s new book Anti-Aging Food #EatWhatMakesYouGlow

Having met previously at the Cannes Film Festival and its associated Fashion Week, where I witnessed her finesse and relaxed charm as she interviewed designers, it was my pleasure to turn the tables and interview her about her three great loves: Food, Fashion and Family.

PBH: Its no surprise that a fairytale princess would have a few beauty ‘secrets’, but rather than 8-hours sleep or a favourite brand of mascara. your best recommendations are actually foods. And more specifically, foods that make you glow. Can you tell us your philosophy for how the pleasure and healthiness of foods can come together to give a youthful glow?

E-M: I think we have to understand that we all are what we eat. Like if you eat trash and cheap fast foods your body starts to produce „trash“. In fact your body is your work! You have the power to decide how you look. But it is also very important that you like what you eat, because an important point is that we feel emotionally satisfied after a meal.

Elna-Margret shows off one of her healthy garden ingredients – artichokes are a food that makes you glow

Elna-Margret shows off one of her healthy garden ingredients – artichokes are a food that makes you glow.

PBH: So foods should be pleasurable even, or in fact especially, when they are healthy? Are there other considerations such as ethics that you think can contribute to food’s benefits on mind and body?

E-M: For me, it is very important when it comes to the art of eating well and clean, to know where products come from and how they were grown and harvested. In our modern world, people nearly forgot to ask – they just consume and buy after looking at nicely photo-shopped pictures on the packages in our supermarkets.

In fact, this lack of knowledge leads to problems like mass animal husbandry. My kitchen is influenced by all kinds of healthy food trends like organic and locally-sourced ingredients and I combine them to create my personal anti-aging kitchen. I want to inspire people to be creative with all their interests. For example, I do still eat meat but I eat the best quality I can get – just once or twice per week.

Princess Elna-Margret in the castle’s kitchen garden where she grows her herbs.

Princess Elna-Margret in the castle’s kitchen garden where she grows her herbs.

Elna-Margret indulges her sense of humour as well as her love for fitness and healthy food.

Elna-Margret indulges her sense of humour as well as her love for fitness and healthy food.

PBH: Your new book ‘Anti-Aging Food – Eat What Makes You Glow’, which will be released in May, is a compendium of your proven wisdom and best-loved recipes. Can you share with us your inspiration for writing this and how you would like readers to be impacted? What legacy would you like it to have?

E-M: My book is a real heart-project. I put all my secrets and wisdom from the life journey in it. My intention is to share my knowledge with people who are actually like me: interested in healthy and clean products who live an active lifestyle and are open-minded to new idea, like the concept of anti-aging foods. In the book I combine all kinds of recipes. I like vegan dishes but not every day! I like meat but not everyday – so I mix. It is like my love of fashion: I like to mix…nobody wears a glamorous gown everyday!

In addition to the recipes, readers will find a lot interesting facts about food and how it effects your body, beauty and fitness.

With a dazzling smile, Elna-Margret shows off one of her favourite anti-aging reciepies.

With a dazzling smile, Elna-Margret shows off one of her favourite anti-aging reciepies.

PBH: Natural anti-aging is the dream for many women who want to glow without looking fake. What is your favourite superfood and how does it give its benefit?

E-M: I really love avocados and homemade almond milk. I eat them almost everyday as they are both so good for the skin. Avocados make your complexion look clear and smooth and almond milk nourishes from the inside. Also, it makes your eyes look even more white, glowy and bright.

Avocados and almond milk for a clear complexion and glowy white eyes.

Avocados and almond milk for a clear complexion and glowy white eyes.

PBH: With iconic role models such as Princesses Grace and Diana, we all expect princesses to be stylish as well as beautiful. Fashion and style have played a huge role in your life, even before you became a princess, and are passions you have incorporated into a career path. What are your current projects?

E-M: Fashion and Food are my two keywords. I work as columnist for the German magazine FACES and I have a weekly live show on QVC where I talk about the latest trends in fashion and jewellery. You see, I have many faces.

 

Here, she lights up with a twinkle in her eye. It is obvious she adores defying a simplistic categorizing and one-dimensional label. She is clearly a natural-born media darling, deftly able to cross between print, recorded and live presenting not just for these companies but for her own projects like the Princess Diary channel as well.

Princess Elna-Margret presents on fashion channel QVC in Germany.

Princess Elna-Margret presents on fashion channel QVC in Germany.

PBH: To be considered an expert, you need to have considerable hands-on experience and industry inside knowledge as well as passion. Where did you develop your expertise?

E-M: When it comes to fashion I can say that I know this business really from every perspective. I started working as a model when I was 16. That experience led me to study PR, Communications and Marketing because I felt very comfortable in that industry and wanted to work there.

After graduating, I started work with an international production company who produced all kinds of campaigns and TV ads for (fashion) clients like Gucci, Swarovski, Burberry, and Schwarzkopf.

My next job was in a fashion agency where I was responsible for all kinds of accessory collections for several big fashion clients.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elna-Margret with friend and designer Giorgio Armani at one of his fashion shows

Elna-Margret with friend and designer Giorgio Armani at one of his fashion shows

On the Red Carpet: the fashion and media side of Elna-Margret’s life.

On the Red Carpet: the fashion and media side of Elna-Margret’s life.

Elna-Margret often writes fashion pieces for magazines as well as her own column.

Elna-Margret often writes fashion pieces for magazines as well as her own column.

PBH: How has your personal style evolved as you have taken this journey? What fashion faux-pas will you never make again?!

E-M: Haha, good question. I think finding your own personal style is a little journey. Especially when you are a fashionista. Sometimes it is all about trial…and error! I remember a very daring ensemble in pink faux leather fabric I once wore to a club opening in Paris. That evening I felt irresistible but nowadays I feel more embarrassed about it!!

But I truly encourage people to be creative and to feel free to try things out. It is a pity that all these little bloggers who are nearly everywhere at the moment during fashion weeks, all look the same. They think they are so unique but in the end they all look like little fashion-soldiers with the same uniform! This is very boring to me.

Elna-Margret shows just how individual and dramatic non-conformist fashion can be.

Elna-Margret shows just how individual and dramatic non-conformist fashion can be.

Resplendant in red: very UN-boring fashion!

Resplendant in red: very UN-boring fashion!

PBH: As well as Food and Fashion, there is another great ‘F’ in your life: Family. How do you, as a modern princess, ensure the right balance between career involvement, royal responsibilities and family life? 

E-M: To combine all these things you need a disciplined schedule and sometimes you need to say no to interesting things too. My husband and I talk about all responsibilities and events long in advance and once an appointment is set, it is set.

I have to travel more when I work because I can´t work for TV at home, but my family understands and accepts this. However, in advance I make sure that my son has a normal family life. I am lucky to have my mom and dad around so they help a lot with my son. I believe this is the best treatment for a child to spend time with the grandparents when I can´t be there.

Elna-Margret shares time away from work with one of her best friends, actress Kelly Rutherford.

Elna-Margret shares time away from work with one of her best friends, actress Kelly Rutherford.

PBH: In your life there is another type of balance to maintain, that between Aristocracy and the Media. The overlap of these is surely image and presentation – for example, you’re an ambassadress for the historical and cultural identity of your region of Germany as well as a TV and media presenter. Are there times when your different images or responsibilities clash?

E-M: Of course these two worlds – media and aristocracy- are not easy to combine and I have to be very careful when it comes to offers for new projects. But I have a few very good consultants who take care of that and my husband and I decide all my projects together. I would not do anything what would effect the image of the family in a bad way.

Princess Elna-Margret marries her Prince, HRH Carl Ferdinand of Bentheim and Steinfurt.

Princess Elna-Margret marries her Prince, HRH Carl Ferdinand of Bentheim and Steinfurt.

At the same time, I am a modern version of a princess with a Facebook and Instagram account and I see myself as being a good example, someone who proves everything is possible if there is a will.

Thoroughly Modern Princess: Elna-Margret balances her diary with work, royal duties and family time.

Thoroughly Modern Princess: Elna-Margret balances her diary with work, royal duties and family time.

PBH: With all these accomplishments and interests its hard to imagine where you will go next. Can you let us into a secret of a dream you have for the future?

E-M: I still have many ideas and projects in my mind and I would never say never. You’ll just have to stay tuned to find out.

What new projects and ideas does Elna-Margret have in store.

What new projects and ideas does Elna-Margret have in store.

What new projects and ideas does Elna-Margret have in store?

It is impossible to leave Elna-Margret without coming away with feelings of admiration. Her multi-faceted lifestyle reflects the passions of her heart as much as it dazzles with accomplishment and there is a strong sense that she has thought deeply about what is truly important and how she can share that for the benefit of others, as much as indulge in it! If her own radiance and enthusiasm are true testimony to the foods she chooses and her philosophy about healthy pleasures, then we should all be inspired to read her new book and reap the same rewards: to glow both inside and out.

Elna-Margret’s new book Anti-Aging Food #EatWhatMakesYouGlow

Elna-Margret’s new book Anti-Aging Food #EatWhatMakesYouGlow

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Aging-EatWhatMakesYouGlow-Elna-Margret-Bentheim-Steinfurt/dp/3831204314?ie=UTF8&keywords=eatwhatmakesyouglow&qid=1459697395&ref_=sr_1_1&sr=8-1

http://www.amazon.de/Anti-Aging-Food-EatWhatMakesYouGlow-FaszinationFitness/dp/3831204314/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1459697319&sr=8-1&keywords=anti-aging+foods

 

Feature by Penelope Brooke-Hamilton

Penelope Brook Hamilton

Penelope Brook Hamilton

Art Director  |  Film Producer  |  Celebrity PR

www.penelopebrooke-hamilton.co.uk

Twitter  |  LinkedIn  |  Film

 

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