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Of British, Chinese, Czech and Austrian ancestry, Alexandra Manley was born in Hong Kong, as the eldest of three daughters of Richard Nigel Manley and Christa Maria Manley.
Alexandra met Prince Joachim at a party in Hong Kong, where he was working for a Danish shipping company.
After a whirlwind courtship, thought to have begun in late autumn of 1994, Prince Joachim, on bended knee, presented Alexandra with a diamond and ruby engagement ring while the couple holidayed together in the Philippines.
Their engagement, which took both Alexandra's family and Danish royal watchers by surprise, was officially revealed in May 1995.