Wednesday 16 July 2008

Danish Royals @ 350th anniversary of Danish Life Guards

Photo: The Queen, Prince Henrik, Crown Prince Frederik, Crown Princess Mary, Prince Joachim and Princess Marie arrive for the June 30 parade at the Rosenborg drill grounds. © Forsvarets Mediabank

Overdue for a catch up! At the end of last month the Royal Danish Life Guards had an extended celebration of its 350th anniversary. The Royal Danish Life Guards have looked after the Danish regents since 1658. The Guards' motto is Per Rege a Grege - For King(Queen) and People. For the past 200 years the Guards' barracks have been next to the Rosenborg Eksercerplads (drill grounds) near Rosenborg Castle, the home of the royal historical collection. The tattoo was introduced to Denmark in 1955 at the Rosenborg drill grounds with the pipes and drums of Danish and Scottish guards. There have been activities since May, beginning with a special exhibition at Rosenborg Castle about the Royal Guards and their history and events will continue until October.

The June tattoo of unique military drills with nearly 1,000 participants was from June 26-28 with guests including His Majesty's Royal Guard from Norway, Switzerland's Top Secret Drum Corps, Arméns Music Corps from Sweden and the Irish Guards and the Queen's Scots Guards. The Russian Presidential Guard payed a return visit after the Danish Royal Life Guards' visit to a tattoo in Red Square in Moscow last autumn, attended by Prince Joachim at the time. Lasse Harkjær, chief of the Royal Danish Life Guards, said it was a scoop to get the Russians, who participated outside Russia for the first time. He said they tried to get the American President's Music Corp, but found they never travel outside the U.S. Lasse Harkjær also said that after growing up in the Cold War atmosphere in Europe, it had been a privilege to arrange the Danish Guards to be in Moscow and now the return visit represents a new stage of friendship. At the end of the June celebrations there were church services, a march of Royal Life Guards through Copenhagen, a jubilee concert led by the Life Guard's Music Corps and Drum Corps with various soloists, and finally, a gala dinner and dance.

On June 26 Prince Joachim attended the Rosenborg Military Tattoo, Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary attended on June 27 and then on June 28 the Regent Couple, Princess Benedikte and Prince Richard attended. On June 29 the Anniversary Concert was held in the Tivoli Concert Hall with the Royal Danish Life Guards' Military Band, the Royal Danish Life Guards' Drum Corps and well-known soloists. Queen Margrethe, the Prince Consort, Crown Prince Frederik, Crown Princess Mary, Prince Joachim, Princess Marie and Princess Benedikte attended. The early morning June 30 march through Copenhagen and parade on the Rosenborg drill grounds was before Queen Margrethe, the Prince Consort, Crown Prince Frederik, Crown Princess Mary, Prince Joachim, Princess Marie, Princess Benedikte and Prince Richard. The gala dinner was also on June 30, the Queen and the Royal Family were present along with past members of the Royal Danish Life Guards.

During the June 30 parade and drill, Crown Princess Mary and Princess Marie chatted intently before the parade began, while Crown Prince Frederik chatted with the Queen. The royals later mingled and spoke with the families of guards members. Joachim and Marie walked together, but happy as the newlyweds look, it was afterall Mary and Frederik who were at the centre of attention. They smiled and chatted with everybody and had their photos taken by countless mobiles. The Queen gave a speech with special mention for the members of the regiment currently serving in Afghanistan (the company there suffered considerable casulties earlier this year). And in a special presentation of the Queen's Watch, Queen Margrethe presented a watch to the guardsman who was elected the best comrade in the guards battalion on duty now. The guards battalions rotate every three or four months and each battalion elects the best comrade among them who receives the award of a watch by the Queen. Photos show the royals wearing a commemoration medal to mark the 350th anniversary of the Royal Danish Life Guards.

And from Billed Bladet (no. 27, July 4, 2008) 'Mary hjalp Marie' – Mary helped Marie
There was close contact and happy smiles when Crown Princess Mary and Princess Marie and their husbands were guests of honour at the Life Guards' 350th anniversary. It is obvious that Mary was taking very good care of Marie and tried to help her. Several times during the celebrations Mary explained to Marie what was going on and who the various dignitaries were.
It was the first time Princess Marie sat in a stand with the other royals and a hint of nervousness could indeed be detected in her. She naturally tried to follow what was going on as best she could, but it was a very unusual situation for Marie.
So it was comforting for her to sit next to Mary... Crown Prince Frederik and Prince Joachim may not be thinking about how unusual the situation is for the latest member of the DRF. But Mary very well recollects her early times in Denmark, so she was there for Marie. There was chatting and laughing and Princess Marie got the best start on one of the solemn events that will soon be everyday events for her.
During a break in the tightly packed schedule, the royals walked around in Kongens Have (the King’s Garden) among the thousands of new and old guardsmen who had shown up for the anniversary. Joachim and Marie preferred to go by themselves a little out of the way from the worst crowding, while Crown Prince Frederik was really in his element, and together with Mary he chatted with everyone he met. Frederik wanted to hear about the duties of the guards company*, he talked with both current and ex guardsmen and he met several of his own friends.
However he and Mary spend the most time with Svend Aage Thorsen [a guardsman from 1933] who regretted that he couldn’t get up from his wheelchair, but the legs couldn’t manage it.
“That doesn’t matter at all, it’s grand that you are here today,” said Frederik when he heard that the old guardsman will turn 96 next month. “It’s lovely to meet with such a joy and optimism,” said Mary, while Frederik lifted a friendly admonishing finger and said: “Now, remember to drink plenty of water, it’s important in this heat.” [it was 29° that day] When Mary learned that Svend Aage Thorsen is from Rudkøbing, she said: “That’s a lovely town, we were there two weeks ago.”
It was a big moment for Svend Aage Thorsen to meet the Crown Prince Couple. He also managed to shake the hand of Queen Margrethe and tell her that he had been on guard duty at Sorgenfri Palace for her grandfather King Christian X, who used the mansion as a summer residence. (written by Annelise Weimann and kindly translated by Muhler)

Note from Muhler:
* A guards company is a part of the guard’s battalion. A platoon or squad/group from the guards company is selected for guard duty at Amalienborg and at the residence of the Regent and the Crown Prince Couple. At any moment that is twelve guards guarding Amalienborg, 24 privates guarding Marselisborg, a detachment guarding Fredensborg and plus their officers and NCOs. They are on duty for 24 hours at a time and each sentry is on duty for two hours at a time. In practice up to half a company is on duty at the various residences at any time.
The Anniversary Concert at Tivoli:

The June 30 gala dinner and dance, where they are dancing Les Lanciers, a form of quadrille specific to Denmark:

Photos © Forsvarets Mediabank, B.T., TV2/Scanpix, Billed Bladet, Hello!/Getty, Liselotte Sabroe/Berlingske Tidende, ¡Hola!, Stella Pictures/

B.T. 'Mary og Marie ved at blive perleveninder' - Mary and Marie becoming very good friends (by Bodil Cath)
Crown Princess Mary and Princess Marie look like they are becoming very good friends. This is at least judging from the body language they displayed towards each other on the big day of the Life Guards at Rosenborg drill grounds.
Mary and Marie sat next to each other in the royal pavillion where all the royals watched a parade with new and old soldiers from the Life Guards.
During the first ten minutes before the parade started Mary and Marie almost exclusively chatted with each other. They must have had a lot to talk about since both gesticulated with their hands and they were so deeply preoccupied with each other, that the Crown Prince, who sat on the right of Mary, started to chat with his mother. There was a small aisle between the Crown Prince and the Queen, who sat on the other side with the Prince Consort on her right. Prince Joachim sat to the left of his wife. That's why the princesses could really have a chat. And that they had.

Hello! magazine 'An assured Princess Marie settles into royal role at army concert'
¡Hola! 'Mary y Marie de Dinamarca, cuñadas y buenas amigas, en su primera cita oficial juntas'

TV2 news clip Net TV
YouTube sample Top Secret Drum Corps at the Edinburgh Tattoo
YouTube Top Secret Drum Corps rehearsing at Rosenborg
Rosenborg Tattoo on YouTube 1
TV2/Lorry feature video clip (04:48) a look inside the life of a Royal Life Guardsman
TV2 news clip
TV2 news clip netTV (01:21) about the 8,000 who marched in Copenhagen
TV2 news clip

Royal Danish Life Guards photo gallery click on upper right icon above each photo to see individual pics
Military Tattoo gallery click on 'frem', it is a small gallery of performers
Søren Steffen Mary and Frederik at the tattoo June 28
TV2 gallery
B.T. gallery 29 June
TV2 gallery Starlounge
Søren Steffen June 30
Berlingske Tidende gallery
Søren Steffen June 30 evening Starlounge

Many thanks to Muhler, FrederikIX, gudinde, valentine, jema, cph and mitchell

Labels: , , , , , ,


Blogger Lynette said...

It is great to see you back again. I love that color of blue that Mary was wearing, so elegant! It is also great to see that Princess Mary is being so supportive of Marie. I can't imagine what a shock to the system going into a royal family must be.

4:38 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

great blog :-) I visit regularly .. Beautiful understated outfits by Princess Mary yet again, she is absolutely a class act. simple chic very gracious and eloquent. quite a contrast to Princess Marie who does not have that natural grace and eloquence, she's trying though but should definitely keep her own style and not compete with Mary.

8:01 pm  
Blogger John Holmes said...

Lots of outfits, tied loosely at the waist for Miss Mary these days.
Anyone else think Christian and Isabella will be getting a sibling soon? I predict she's due in January with baby #3.

6:55 am  
Blogger lotte said...

Hey John,

We think the same :D


4:47 pm  

Post a Comment

<< Home