It is a very good year

The royal couple continues their summer tradition of welcoming the press to an informal press conference at their French retreat

The sun smiled on Chateau de Caïx in France's Lot Valley Wednesday, as the Danish royal couple welcomed reporters to the retreat for the annual summer press conference.

The press conference has become a summer tradition for Queen Margrethe II and her French-born husband, Royal Consort Prince Henrik. The event is a laid-back affair, where the couple offer an open-hearted recap of the year that was, and Prince Henrik serves wine produced at the chateau.

Family is often a topic of interest for the press at the gathering. This year was no exception, as reporters eagerly asked how the couple's three grandchildren were doing.

'They are doing well and they are getting big,' the Queen said of her younger son's two children, Prince Nikolai, 5, Prince Felix, 2, and Prince Christian, born last October to Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary.

Queen Margrethe also reported that she was back in step after an operation to replace a knee earlier this spring.

While in France, the royal couple keeps a low profile, entertaining family and guests. Queen Margrethe promised to keep in the background tending to the roses at the chateau and enjoying the market in the nearby town of Luzach.

Prince Henrik, on the other hand, uses the trip as a working vacation, overseeing his vineyards before the fall harvest.

The prince consort expected this year to be a good year.

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