Prince Joachim of Denmark was back in Hong Kong this week to talk up business from the Nordic nation. While he spoke with passion about the creativity and success of his nation, it was his own memories of living in Hong Kong that really brought out the prince's charm and smile. From 1993 to 1994 the handsome royal had a chance to step outside the bubble of scrutiny he has experienced since birth in his home nation. 'In Hong Kong, I was just another gweilo,' he said of the year spent working for Danish shipping giant company Maersk. 'That was heaven for me. I was just another paper-pusher among 900 staff. It gave me a chance to make use of my studies in economics. 'I had a chance of a lifetime being out here, being unknown, and also broadened my horizons. It was a chance to jump out of your own backyard to where nobody knows you and nobody needs to know you. I felt like I was no longer in that cage at the zoo.' Despite a few sightings at popular nightspots and mentions in newspaper gossip columns, Hong Kong was also where the once playboy prince was tamed - at least temporarily. For the city was where he met his first wife, the Hong Kong born and raised Alexandra Christina Manley, who is of Chinese, British and European ancestry. The pair had a whirlwind romance that became marriage after the prince proposed to the glamorous Discovery Bay banker during a trip to the Philippines in 1995. The couple have two children, Nikolai and Felix, but divorced in 2005. The former princess married cameraman Martin Jorgensen this year. The prince plans to marry his French girlfriend, Marie Cavallier, next year. The divorce was the first in the Danish royal family since 1846. 'There is no animosity between us,' he said. 'There are lots of friends who I still know through her who I see when I'm here because they have become my friends as well. She lives in Denmark but she has family here.' Danish newspapers claimed the princess had a more professional attitude to her civic duties while Prince Joachim earned the title 'party prince' for his nightclub visits. The prince said there had been a surge in paparazzi-style coverage of his life in Denmark, although he did not face the same amount of scrutiny as the British royals. 'But being a royal, you grow up with it, so it becomes part of your life,' he said. 'What is written in the press, the headlines and stories, are often untrue but they are a way of selling a product. 'It must be much harder to deal with the attention if you go from being anonymous to famous because having every little move analysed can drag you down.' The prince said Hong Kong 'was the place to be' for companies wanting to set up an office in the region. The number of Danes in Hong Kong had doubled to at least 1,100 since his time in the city. 'There will always be business in Hong Kong for the simple reason that it is a fantastic consumer market,' he said after presenting an award to shoe company ECCO for promoting Danish industry. 'Companies will need regional offices and Hong Kong is well suited for that. Anywhere in Asia is a four-hour flight,' he said, before adding with a laugh, 'and I'm sure a lot of people like their regional headquarters here.'