Thursday 1 January 2009

Danish Royal Family @ 2009 New Year court banquet

The Regent Couple, Queen Margrethe and the Prince Consort, held the first and most exclusive of the New Year courts, a gala court banquet at Amalienborg Palace this evening for "official Denmark". The Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen (pictured below) had the distinction of being in two places at once as he arrived as his New Year address was broadcast on television. Traditionally the Queen's address is on New Year's Eve and the Prime Minster's on New Year's Day, but this year there has been an outbreak of New Year addresses in Denmark with almost every party leader giving an address, most online on their political party's websites. There has been some criticism in the press that this has undermined the significance of the Queen's address in particular. The Queen is unlikely to be too disturbed however, since hers is always widely anticipated and has the highest viewing figures for the broadcast.

Princess Marie made her début at this year's court, which has guests comprising the senior royals and the royal court, minsters of the government and the heads of major Danish institutions. The partners of the invitees are not invited and so the partner of the Prime Minister, currently Anne-Mette Rasmussen, traditionally holds a reception at the PM's official residence at Marienborg so they don't feel left out. The official invitees adjourn to Marienborg after the banquet at Amalienborg to continue the festivity a little and to collect their other halves.

The 57 guests included the Speaker of the Folketing (Parliament), Thor Pedersen, the President of the Supreme Court, Torben Melchior, senior defence officers, public officials of the state including the director of police, Hanne Bech Hansen, the Chief Mayor of Copenhagen, Ritt Bjerregaard, the Royal Confessor and Bishop of Copenhagen, Erik Norman Svendsen, the new captain of the Dannebrog, Lars Rosendahl Christophersen, and the vice-chancellor of the University of Copenhagen, Professor Ralf Peter Hemmingsen. See the guest list here (in Danish). The menu featured cream of fish soup, venison with potatoes and pumpkin puree and Bordelaise sauce, beetroot salad with apples, Napoleon cake, Rosenborg wine*, Chateau de Cayx 1999 and Champagne Moët & Chandon Cuvee Speciale M&H. See the menu and music here (in Danish).
* a 400-year-old Rhine wine kept in the cellars of Rosenborg Slot. It is apparently well past its best and is served for the sake of tradition and has some sugar added to make it drinkable.

  • The Queen's jewels are part of the Crown Jewels kept at Rosenborg Palace

  • Photos © Keld Navntoft/Berlingske Tidende, Thorkild Amdi/Polfoto/Jyllands Posten, Hanne Juul/Billed Bladet

    For those interested in the jewellery of the three M's:

    Berlingske Tidende 'Prinsesse Marie fik sin kurdebut' - Prinsesse Marie has her court début
    Prinsesse Marie had her début at Amalienborg, when the Regent Couple invited guests according to traditional practice to the gala court banquet, the year's first court event.
    Royals, ministers and others of the country's highest were invited in the evening to the court reception and banquet with the Regent Couple at Amalienborg.
    Among the guests was Prince Joachim's new wife, Princess Marie, for her court début.
    The country's Prime Minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, was of course also invited, dressed in gala clothes, he made a jest of his own dual role for the evening. Shortly after his arrival at the New Year's court his yearly New Year speech was broadcast on TV. "I make a speech in a moment, and there you can get answers to your questions. I have the privilege to be in two places tonight," Anders Fogh Rasmussen said, when a journalist asked about the Prime Minister's political visions for the coming year.
    There were around 60 guests at this year's New Year's court were subsequently invited for table in the Knight's Hall in Christian VII's Palace, Amalienborg.
    There was fish soup, fried deer and Napoleon cake on the menu, the choicest of the royal house is featured at this banquet.
    Only on this evening do the royal house's members wear the Order of the Elephant on its gold chain rather than the usual blue sash.
    Especially for this evening the guests are served a glass of Rosenborg wine - probably world's oldest Rhine wine [kept in the cellars of Rosenborg castle].
    While the ministers celebrated the New Year at Amalienborg, their partners were invited to a buffet at Marienborg, where the Prime Minister's wife, Anne Mette, was the hostess. /ritzau/ 'Prinsesse Marie fik sin kurdebut'
    Billed Bladet
    B.T. 'Prinsesse Marie fik sin kurdebut'

    Berlingske Tidende photo gallery
    Jyllands Posten photo gallery
    B.T.'s photo gallery
    MSN Starlounge gallery

    TV2 news clip (01:00)
    TV2 news clip (01:17) - shows arrival of the royals

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