Saturday 26 May 2007

Royal Yacht Dannebrog's 75th anniversary today

Today marks the 75th anniversary of the Danish Royal Yacht the Dannebrog which is named after the Danish flag. At the beginning of each winter the Dannebrog finishes it's "season" and goes into the Royal Danish Navy's docks at Frederikshavn where it has maintenance work done on it until the following spring each year ready for the new royal season. The Queen and Prince Henrik tour Denmark during the summer on the Dannebrog, Frederik and Mary had a summer cruise on the yacht in 2004 after their marriage and the royal family also visits Bornholm, Greenland and the Faroe Islands on the yacht. They also make overseas visits, for example, last year the Queen and Prince Henrik went on state visit to Greece and used the Dannebrog. The Dannebrog is considered both a royal residence and also a navy ship. Each year there are new recruits who serve on the Dannebrog for the season and then move on to other training in the navy. This summer the Dannebrog will be involved in the combined 70th birthday celebrations of King Harald and Queen Sonja of Norway, together with the Norwegian Royal Yacht Norge.

Today the 75th anniversary celebrations begin with the Queen and Prince Henrik joining the Dannebrog at Kronborg in Helsingør (see map), where there will be a salute from the Kronborg Battery and then they sail to Copenhagen where the Sixtus Battery will fire a salute on arrival. When they arrive at Toldbod they will be joined by Crown Prince Frederik, Crown Princess Mary, Prince Christian and the little princess for a celebratory lunch onboard.

And from Billed Bladet (no. 21 25 May 2007)– The princess goes to sea:

It will be a birthday just as daddy wants it, a lunch at sea with the entire family. That’s what Crown Prince Frederik has wished for, so on Saturday when he boards the barge that will take him to Dannebrog, he will have Mary, Christian and Lillepigen with him.

It’s also Dannebrog's birthday on Saturday. The ship will turn 75 and on the occasion the Regent Couple have long since planned a lunch onboard. Crown Prince Frederik who is crazy about the royal yacht, has also long since been on the guest list from the beginning, but now he has also wished to bring along his entire little family from the Chancellery House. It will be the first time the little princess will go to sea, but new pictures of her show clearly that she is a really curious little one with her big dark wide open eyes . For big brother Prince Christian Dannebrog is not a novel experience. When his parents sailed on an official visit to Bornholm last summer he was there, so he knows the ship. According to his father, Christian has also got pretty strong sea legs.

It is not likely there will be rough weather during the birthday lunch on Saturday as Dannebrog will be at anchor, so the royals and their guests will have to sail out to her in the royal barge. The guests are invited at 12.45pm, but before then Dannebrog will be saluted. The salute will be fired from Kronborg as the ship passes on her way down Øresound.

For Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik it’s a happy occasion that both Mary and Frederik will take part in the lunch, but they especially look forward to bidding an onboard welcome to Lillepigen, just 35 days after she was born. (By Anna Johannesen and kindly translated by Muhler).

More to come...

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