Danish billionaire Anders Holch Povlsen and wife Anne have tragically lost three of their four children – all killed in the coordinated Sri Lanka terrorist attacks on Easter Sunday which took the lives of 253 people. The terrorists have been linked to the radical domestic organization, National Thowfeek Jamaath (NTJ). The identities of the slain children have been identified as Alma, Agnes and Alfred Povlsen.
Here’s what you need to know about Povlsen’s children and how a senseless act of violence forever changed the Povlsen family.
1. Povlsen and his Wife Have Four Children
Povlsen and his wife have four children, three girls and one boy: Agnes, Alma, Astrid, and Alfred. The Povlsen family was extremely private. Few details are known about the children. Hojvangskolen, the school attended by the Povlsen children, had the Danish flag at half staff in their honor.
Until Easter Sunday, the Povlsen family seemed to lead a charmed life. Povlsen was a mogul in the fashion world and inherited his parent’s highly successful Bestseller clothing business. He is also the major shareholder of the ASOS clothing line. Povlsen is estimated to have a net worth of $7.9 billion.
2. Povlsen and His Family Were on Vacation for the Easter Holiday
Povlsen and his family were vacationing in Sri Lankan capital of Colombo over the Easter holiday Sri when two terrorists struck their hotel, the Shangri-La. The upscale hotel is considered very safe and a popular resort for affluent tourists. The hotel calls itself a “personal tropical sanctuary,” overlooking the Indian Ocean.
Sri Lanka had been considered a relatively safe tourist destination, not having experienced any violence since its civil war ended 10 years ago. “This is an attack that killed 32 foreigners and it targeted the five-star hotels that many foreigners stay at so it’s going to be a major shock to Sri Lanka and it’s going to pose some major challenges to its tourism industry,” explained Michael Kugelman, of the Wilson Center’s Asia Program.
A spokesman for Mr. Povlsen’s company Wildland Ltd. told the Strathspey and Badenoch Herald: “It’s tragic news. They were enjoying a family holiday together when it happened. After the attack, Danish Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen shared on Twitter without revealing any names: “I condemn the heinous attacks on churches and hotels in Sri Lanka. Our thoughts are with the families and friends of the victims and with the people of Sri Lanka.”
3. The Povlsen Children Were Very Close
During the family holiday, Alma used her Instagram account to give the world a few rare glimpses into their lives and the close bond shared by the Povlsen siblings. She snapped photos of her brother and sisters enjoying themselves in Colombo. She also took photos of the hotel and its tranquil surroundings.
When they weren’t vacationing, the family typically split their time between their home in Denmark, which was once a former Danish royal residence, and their 42,000 acre Scottish Glenfeshie estate in the Cairngorms. Anders Povlsen has a deep passion for Scotland and its open spaces. He acquired the property for £7.9 million in 2006.
4. Povlsen Planned to Give his Estates to his Children
British newspaper The Mirror revealed that just a few days before the terrorist attack, Povlsen had discussed plans to hand over his Scottish estates to his four children. Povlsen is Scotland’s largest individual private landowner, holding more than 220,000 acres in the Scottish highlands. He and Anne developed a plan they called their “Re-Wilding Project” which would return Scottish lands to their natural state. Povlsen has spent approximately £100 million purchasing various estates in Scotland to further this dream. His passion for Scotland started when he and his parents visited when he was a teen in the 1980s.
5. Povlsen and his Wife Wanted the Children to Continue Their “Re-Wilding Project”
Povlsen said that he and Anne’s “Re-Wilding Project” would take at least 200 years to accomplish. “From our home at Glenfeshie, both Anna and myself – our children and our parents two-have long enjoyed a deep connection with this magnificent landscape.” The couple planned to restore the native woodlands, peatlands, wetlands and rivers, while also trying to help restore native Scottish wildlife that’s threatened including Golden Eagles, Wildcats, and red squirrels.
“As the holdings have grown and our common vision for the work becomes ever clearer, we have incorporated the entirety of the project into adventure we call Wildland. It’s a significant and lifelong commitment that we have made – not just for ourselves but for the Scottish people and Scottish nature to – a commitment which we believe in deeply,” the Povlsen’s said in a joint statement, adding, “It is a project that we know cannot be realized in our lifetime, which will bear fruit not just for our own children but also for the generations of visitors who, like us, hold a deep affection for the Scottish Highlands.”