Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Greek State Visit to Denmark: day 1

Queen Margrethe, Prince Henrik, Crown Prince Frederik, Crown Princess Mary, Prince Joachim and Princess Benedikte have formally greeted the President of Greece Karolos Papoulias today, at the beginning of a three-day state visit accompanied Mrs May Panou Papoulia, by other Greek officials, and a business delegation. It is the first state visit to Denmark by a Greek head of state in more than 40 years following cool relations after the treatment of ex-King Constantine and the Queen's sister ex-Queen Anne-Marie of Greece by the military junta which took over in Greece in 1967. The theme of the visit will centre around environmental issues in the lead up to the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December. The President will visit Danish green projects with Crown Prince Frederik, attend a Danish-Greek business forum, lay a wreath at the Monument of Danish Resistance and will host a return event at the State Museum of Art with a concert by the New Greek Quartet, which is accompanying the Greek delegation. On Wednesday President Papoulias will visit the Danish Parliament and meet parliamentarians and the Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen. President Karolos Papoulias used his speech at the gala banquet at Fredensborg Palace to confirm Greece's support for Denmark's environmental policies, which will be expressed through an environmental theme to the Danish-Greek business forum, but he also had some critical words about Turkey in relation to "EU values" and the longterm problem of Cyprus. Queen Margrethe did make mention of the Greek monarchy in her speech, so making it clear that the treatment of her sister and brother-in-law was not entirely forgotten. Not seen in public for a while, Princess Elisabeth joined the Royal Family for the banquet. The grand old 1958 Rolls Royce did a great job of making it most of the way to the carpet at the entrance to Fredensborg Castle from the airport, but 'died' a few metres short. Looks like a full service for the Roller coming up. This is the first car in the Crown fleet - it doesn't even have a number - just the Crown!

Photos © Keld Navntoft/B.T., POLFOTO/Jyllands Posten, Jens Dige/POLFOTO/Fyen Stiftstidende, Tariq Mikkel Khan/POLFOTO/Fyens Stiftstidende, DayLife/Reuters, Aftenposten.no/AFP

Guest list for the banquet
Menu and music for the gala banquet, which thoughtfully included Theodorakis' 'Zorba the Greek'

Fyens Stiftstidende 'Første græske statsbesøg i over 40 år' - First Greek state visits for over 40 years
The Greek presidential couple has arrived.
It's the first time that a Greek president makes a state visit to Denmark since ex-Queen Anne-Marie had to escape.
Greece's president, Karolos Papoulias and his wife, May Panou Papoulia, landed at Vilhelm Lauritzen's terminal at Copenhagen Airport this afternoon.
It's the first Greek state visit to Denmark in over 40 years.
The presidential couple are on a three day state visit in Denmark staying at Fredensborg Palace and they will, according to traditional practice for state visits, be bid welcome by the Regent Couple with a state banquet with 156 guests.
After their arrival the visitors were given a ceremonial welcome at the castle escorted by the Royal Hussars.
The Queen and Prince Henrik visited Greece in 2006.
It was at the time the first time that the Danish royal house made a state visit to Greece after the ex-King Konstantin and Queen Margrethe's sister ex-Queen Anne-Marie had to flee the military junta in 1967, after which diplomatic relations between Denmark and Greece were very cool.
Because of Denmark's hosthood for the Climate conference the state visit focuses at climate, energy and sustainable urban development.

B.T. 'Dronningens Rolls Royce gik i strejke' - The Queen's Rolls Royce went on strike
Cough, cough, cough ... was the sound from Margrethe's Rolls Royce - and then it went dead.
It managed to drive all the way in to the palace square and had only a few meters to go before it gave out near the red carpet up the stairs to Fredensborg Palace.
The beautiful 1958 Rolls Royce started to cough and then the engine stopped and shut down.
The Queen who had driven in the car together with President Papoulias from the airport jumped out with a big smile and went the last few meters towards the red carpet.
It was also with a certain relief, since it might have been much worse if the car had broken down out on the motorway and created a traffic jam.
The car remained where it stopped at 5 o'clock for about three quarters of an hour, but then two court employees got to work and started the engine again and the royal car could be transported home to the garage again.
Fredensborg LocalAvisen.dk 'Græsk præsident på besøg på Fredensborg Slot'
Billed Bladet 'Kongefamilien modtager græsk præsidentpar med pomp og pragt' - The royal family receives Greek presidential couple with pomp and circumstance
The whole Royal Family, with the exception of Princess Marie, was ready to receive the Greek presidential couple when they arrived in Denmark yesterday. Everything was the perfectly arranged, when Denmark had the first state visit from Greece for over 40 years.
President Karolos Papoulias and Mrs May Panou Papoulia were received on Monday afternoon by the Danish Royal Family in Kastrup Airport - with the exception of Princess Marie, who still enjoys her maternity leave as a new mother.
After the reception at the airport the party went directly on the trip to Fredensborg, where there was a state banquet.

ERTonline.gr 'Greek President on Official Visit to Denmark'

Fyens Stiftstidende gallery
B.T. gallery
TV2 gallery
MSN Starlounge gallery
Billed Bladet gallery - the Royal Rolls giving up the ghost and being carted off for some serious attention
Billed Bladet gallery - including the Danish Roals wearing their Greek orders for the gala

TV2 clip (00:37) - shows the Danish Air Force escort as the President's plane lands at the airport
TV2 clip (03.02)
DR.dk clip (05:09)


In further news, there is a quickening of activity in Denmark as the December 2009 U.N. Climate Change Conference draws nearer. The Royal Family will be increasingly busy in official functions representing Denmark as hosts as the summit gets closer. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will visit Denmark for two days next week for the World Business Summit convened by the Copenhagen Climate Council and will meet with Queen Margrethe, Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen, and the Ministers for Foreign Affairs, for Development Cooperation, Defense and the Minister for Climate and Energy. Al Gore, a keynote speaker for the conference, and others (including Cate Blanchett, the green director of the Sydney Theatre Company) who will be attending the World Business Summit on Climate Change:
UN News Centre
Space Daily
Ban Ki-moon will also officially open the Europe & Middle East headquarters of the UN Office for Project Services Regional Office in Copenhagen.
More on the visit (and other stuff) to come...

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mary looks absolutely fabulous! love that white/grey dress = ))

3:08 pm  

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