What’s a girl to do when she finds herself at the ball of the decade along with a dazzling array of future queens plus one of the most eligible young princes on the planet?
Prepare some small talk? Research the prince in question and his football team? Take a really deep breath and be charming to the mother?
None of the above for 18-year-old Anne-Sofie Tornso Olesen, who last weekend chose to make her mark by leaving a glittery gold stiletto lingering at the Christiansborg Palace, where Prince Christian of Denmark had been celebrating his 18th birthday.
True, there was a touch of the Cinderella when wine merchant’s daughter Anne-Sofie first won her invitation to the gala – in a tombola.
Anne-Sofie Tornso Olesen sported a sheer black dress at the reception and greeted Denmark’s Queen Margrethe II, her son, Crown Prince Frederik and his son Prince Christian
The Danish Royal Household revealed one partygoer at Prince Christian’s 18th birthday bash left a glittering stiletto at Christiansborg Castle
Prince Christian addresses the glittering party crowd at his 18th birthday gala
Whisked to Copenhagen to represent her local area last weekend, she certainly looked the part, pictured at the reception in a sheer backless dress – and both shoes – paying her respects to Queen Margrethe II, Christian’s forbidding grandmother and hostess for the evening.
It’s not known what the Anne-Sofie’s neighbours made of the stunt, but Prince Christian seemed happy to play along, asking the Palace to post a photograph of the lonely heel on social media.
‘When the guests at Her Majesty The Queen’s gala table yesterday had gone home, this lonely stiletto shoe was left at Christiansborg Castle,’ stated the Royal Household. ‘The owner is welcome to contact to get it.’
Not backwards in coming forwards, we next meet Anne-Sofie on Danish TV, where she tells Se Og Hør that: ‘It was meant to be a fairytale ending à la Cinderella.
‘I thought it was a bit funny myself, and I talked to my family and friends about it before, and they agreed that I should do it. It’s a chance you won’t get again.’
She might be right about the last bit. Lost property is hardly from the Carole Middleton playbook.
So will Prince Christian will hand the ‘slipper’ back in person? And who might the two ugly sisters prove to be?
Prince Christian of Denmark celebrated with from around Europe including Princess Amalia of The Netherlands (second from right) and Princess Estelle of Sweden (left)
Prince Christian pictured at the gala with his mother, Crown Princess Mary
Speculation that Christian and Princess Marie Chiara of Bourbon-Two-Sicilies were dating began in May when a group photo emerged on social media of the duo, far right, standing together at the Monaco Grand Prix
Princess Maria Chiara of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, her mother Camilla of Bourbon Two Sicilies and sister Princess Maria Carolina of Bourbon-Two Sicilies at the Pierre Cardin Womenswear Spring/Summer 2024 show as part of Paris Fashion Week in September
The future King of Denmark has good reason to be wary as it’s just a few weeks since he was at the centre of colourful rumours he was ‘dating’ – and possibly ‘engaged to’ – a little known Italian socialite.
Along with her equally leggy sister and bouffant-haired mother, Princess Marie Chiara of Bourbon-Two-Sicilies has an impressive presence on Instagram if less of a position in the order of royal precedence.
If the ‘dating’ rumours were based on slender evidence, neither the ‘Momager’ mother, Princess Camilla, nor her daughters did much to quell them.
The gossip had started at the Monaco Grand Prix in May, when Christian, second-in-line to the throne of Denmark, was pictured in a group shot with Chiara and other friend.
Then the couple were seen eating ice cream together in St Tropez. Not exactly proof, perhaps, but then it was reported that Christian had spent time with the princess and her family earlier this summer.
Who is Prince Christian of Denmark?
As second-in-line to the Danish throne, Prince Christian is considered one of the most eligible young royals in Europe.
The Prince, who has just celebrated his 18th birthday, is the son of Crown Prince Frederick and Australian-born Crown Princess Mary, and is the grandson of reigning Queen Margrethe II.
Christian is a four-times great grandson of Queen Victoria and distant cousins with Princes William and Harry
In June, it was announced he will forego the inheritance he was due to receive on turning 18 and will concentrate on his studies until the age of 21 or beyond.
Earlier this year, there was controversy when, in a move to slim down the Danish monarchy, Queen Margrethe II announced that she would remove royal titles from four grandchildren.
Prince Christian and his family are not affected.
And that was after Princess Camilla, the Momager, had shared a photograph of them posing with the Danish prince captioning it ‘family and friends’.
‘We’ve known each other since we were little, my father Carlo is godfather to his younger sister,’ Princess Chiara told the Italian press.
How royal are they? Not enough to be invited to last Sunday’s gala, perhaps, and certainly not as royal as Christian or his grandmother Queen Marg
Bourbon-Two-Sicilies is a ‘cadet’ branch of the Bourbon family that once ruled Europe itself and still holds the throne of Spain.
The girls’ father, the Duke of Castro, holds a claim to the title although there has been lively discussion about who actually has that right.
Camilla and her daughters seem unabashed, burnishing their credentials with a website claiming membership of ‘one of Europe’s ‘oldest and most important dynasties’ stretching back to the time of Charlemagne.
‘The Bourbon family is related to almost all the royal families or former rulers of Europe, it’s a kind of big club,’ Chiara explained at one point.
‘King Felipe VI of Spain, he is my father’s cousin and I am very close to the heir, Leonor, who, like me, loves sports and in particular women’s football,’ Chiara once claimed.
‘Then the Belgian royals were often our guests in the summer in Saint-Tropez… and one of my best friends is Alexandra of Hanover, Carolina of Monaco’s youngest daughter.’
The family is also friendly terms with Prince Michael of Kent and Camilla was recently pictured with him at a Mediterranean beach club.
The summer was over by the time Chiara issued a non-denial denial on Instagram stating that ‘while we all enjoy dreaming of fairytales, what truly matters is reality.’
Maria Chiara and Maria Carolina of Bourbon two Sicilies are seen shopping in Saint Tropez in August
Camillo Crociani, grandfather of the Princesses, died in Mexico city, still on the run from the Italian police. He had been convicted in his absence of taking bribes
Meanwhile, the Danish royal family remained quiet on the speculation.
A wise move, perhaps – because, persuasive as the Bourbon-Two-Sicilies website might be, it is not entirely comprehensive, as MailOnline Royals reported earlier this year.
There is no mention, for example, of the fact that Princess Camilla’s father Camillo Crociani died in Mexico City on the run from the police.
Crociani, head of Finmeccanica, a government-controlled aerospace business group, fled Italy in 1976 just 24 hours before an arrest warrant was issued, taking his beautiful film star wife, Edy Vessel, and daughters with him.
In his absence, Crociani was found guilty of of accepting a L140m bribe (about £100,000 in the mid-70s) as part of the multimillion pound Lockheed bribery scandal that swept Europe at the time.
He was sentenced to two years and four months in jail, but not before the family fortune including millions of pounds worth of art had been spirited out of Italy. He died not long after.
Princess Camilla has had problems of her own, meanwhile.
In 2017, the Jersey courts brought an end to a ten year dispute over a huge trust fund including art works by Picasso, Van Gogh and a missing £50m Gauguin – finding in favour of her sister, Cristiana.
Camilla was ordered to re-build the fund, from which up to Euros200m had been diverted, and locate the missing artworks.
She was fined £2m for failing to comply with a court order and at one point was weeks away from a 12-month term in jail.
Will there be a fairy tale ending for Anne-Sofie?
She did speak to Prince Christian at the event, although the details seem hazy.
Lily James as Cinderella in the 2015 film
Anne-Sofie was invited to the party to represent the area where she lives outside the Danish capital. ‘I won the invitation in a tombola,’ she told the Daily Mail’s Richard Eden
Actress Anne-Sofie, pictured left, who appeared in Danish TV series BaseBoys, has since came forward to claim the shoe as her own, telling Danish outlet Se Og Hør : ‘It was meant to be a fairytale ending à la Cinderella.
‘I don’t really remember what I asked about, because I was so confused, but I think it had something to do with what he thought about the whole thing – and about having invited all those people into the castle,’ she said.
‘It’s not because I think that now I’m going to marry him, but I kind of hoped that someone would think it was funny, and then it also creates attention for the royal house.’
And attention for others, too? It turns out that Anne-Sofie is an aspiring actress who has appeared in Danish TV childrens series BaseBoys.
Perhaps there is a happy final chapter, after all.