Catchy tune from a young Danish girl with an interesting family history wins Eurovision


This catchy tune from a 20 year old Danish girl, Emmelie de Forest, won the 2013 Eurovision song contest last night. Besides the song, “Only Teardrops,” Emmelie’s family name caught my attention.

“de Forest” isn’t your typical Danish surname so I did a little looking around. Wikipedia is the quickest source online and provides a bit of clarification. Emmelie’s father was named “de Forest” though Wikipedia says she was named Emmelie Engström at birth for her mother’s family name.

It seems that Emmelie claimed to be a great-great-great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria. That claim seems to have gotten some research going into the very interesting origins or her family. According to the blog Royal Musings the name “de Forest” originates with Emmelie’s grandfather Maurice Arnold de Forest who was the son of an American couple living and working in the Paris circuses.

[Maurice Arnold de Forest's] birth was registered in Paris.  Records show that Maurice was the elder son of Edward de Forest (1848-1882) and Juliette Arnold (1860-1882), an American couple who worked in French circuses.  He had a younger brother, Raymond (1880-1912).  The family lived on the Rue Legendre in Paris.  Edouard and Juliette were originally from New York.

Maurice de Forest and his brother were orphaned when they parents died in Constantinople of typhoid while touring with a circus. They were fortunate to be adopted by a wealthy Austrian couple, Baron Moritz (Maurice) von Hirsch and his wife, Clara Bischoffsheim.

So where does Emmelie fit into the family tree?  She is the daughter of Ingvar de Forest (1938-2010),  said to be the natural son of Maurice de Forest and a Swedish woman, Irma Paula Margareta Engström. Ingvar’s birth was registered in Stockholm with the surname Engström.  It was not until he was an adult when he began using the surname de Forest. … Maurice never married Margareta, and he did not have an active role in Ingvar’s life.

So, Emmelie’s family history is incredibly interesting and while her family name, de Forest, is French it comes to her from her American great grandparents.

Anyway, if you have a couple of minutes listen to the tune. It’s rather addictive, especially the flute and drums. It seems and she’s worked very hard, leaving her family home in rural Northern Jutland to attend a music academy to develop her talent.

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About Mike
A resident of the “30 square miles surrounded by reality,” I spend most of my time teaching economics and statistics to undergraduate students. I enjoy, naturally, economics and business, but also science (I was once an astronomical observatory assistant), politics, photography, food, travel and sports. Madison has grown quite a bit since 1978 when Governor Lee Dreyfus made that remark. According to Wikipedia, Madison is 67.3 square miles of land and 16 square miles of water. Visit http://thisgotmyattention.wordpress.com/about/ for one of my favorite views of the isthmus. Or, why not come visit us! http://visitmadison.com

3 Responses to Catchy tune from a young Danish girl with an interesting family history wins Eurovision

  1. Kavita Joshi says:

    wow..I never knew this..thanks a lot for sharing dear

  2. Yep yep and yep! Damn the internet… we watched the Eurovision ‘live’ on tv four hours after the event and were trying to guess who won. Except half of us already found out who won due to notifications or facebook. And half of us who watched were Danes, so a bit difficult to keep a secret! =o) Next time, it will be an internet free zone!

    • Mike says:

      Such a problem with time zones. Thanks for the comments!

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