Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Danish Royals @ Århus Cathedral for Easter

© All photos Flemming Krogh/Århus Stiftstidende

The Queen, the Prince Consort, Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary attended the Easter church services on successive cold days at Århus Cathedral last Sunday and again on Easter Monday. The photos here are from Easter Monday. The Royal Family attended Easter services on both days and on Easter Sunday Mary joined the Queen at the end of the service in taking communion. The couples and Prince Cristian and Princess Isabella spent Easter at Marselisborg near Århus. After the two hour service on Easter Monday, Prince Henrik drove back to Marselisborg Palace with Frederik and Mary. The Queen emerged shortly afterwards with family friend Reverend Peter Parkov. Prince Joachim was not present. The Easter service was a farewell for Reverend Christian Thodberg, who has been the Royal Family's confessor for 33 years. Bishop Erik Norman Svendsen, the bishop of Copenhagen, who officiated at the wedding of Frederik and Mary and at the christenings of Christian and Isabella, is to take over the position of Royal Confessor.

Århus Stiftsidende 'En bevæget tak til Margrethe'
A moved thanks for Margrethe - There was sadnes to even go into Århus Domkirke (cathedral) and yet there was demand for a place [in church]...Extra supplies of hymn books were brought in, while the church...was busy referring people to extra chairs. But the occasion was also somewhat special. It was...the 79-year-old Royal confessor Christian Thodberg's last sermon as cathedral priest and also the royal house's personal priest. Christian Thodberg performed the service to marry Prince Joachim and Countess Alexandra... "Today I ask Her Majesty the Queen to receive my most cordial thanks for the 33 years I have had in the honourable job and for the trust which has been shown me. Her Majesty's interest in and empathy for Christianity have brought me many pleasures and have been a great inspiration to me. The Queen is the head of the whole Danish Church and this is not only in name but also for the benefit [of the church]. I thank the Queen and the entire Royal Family," said a moved Christian Thodberg after his Easter sermon. He also thanked the cathedral's parochial church council, employees, organist and churchgoers for their faithfulness and patience over 35 years at Århus Domkirke. "I am very much affected over seeing so many people here today for the last walk I make to stand at this pulpit," said the 79-year-old now former royal confessionarius, Christian Thodberg. After the two hour long church service and a long queue to take holy communion as well as two baptisms, Queen Margrethe received absolution as did her close friend Reverend Peter Parkov. Prins Henrik, Crown Princess Mary and Crown Prince Frederik left at the end of the service and before communion as is their custom. Mary and Frederik drove [back to Marselisborg] with Prince Henrik behind the wheel and waved at the many who gathered on Store Torv [outside the cathedral] before they drove away. (story by Mette Søndergård)

Urban.dk 'Bevæget tak til dronningen' - Heartfelt thanks for the Queen (similar story to above)

Århus Stiftstidende photo gallery

Added: there has been some confusion about who did what and when at Easter because there have been few photos or reports. The Royal Family attended church on both Easter Sunday and Easter Monday. On Easter Sunday Queen Margrethe and Crown Princess Mary left the service together after taking communion. The Easter Monday service was no doubt a special service to mark the end of Reverend Christian Thodberg's service at the cathedral and also marked the end of his 33 years as the Royal Confessor.

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