13 April 2010

Queen of Hearts

Living in a monarchy is not something you really think about. It is sort of the same as with The Little Mermaid: a part of the picture, without being part of your life. It just is. But on friday the 16th of April our Queen turns 70, and that is a week long event with endless dinners and media hoo-ha. It is slowly building up to the big day on friday, with the greetings from the balcony and the horse driven carriage ride through the city. I feel a dilemma approaching, because I am allergic to crowds, and hate to see myself as part of one, but on the other hand I am responsible for feeding the blog. And I do have a soft spot for our Queen. I will tell you why:

The tradition calls for the Royal Family to assemble on the balcony of the Royal Amalienborg Palace, in the centre of Copenhagen, on the big occasions like birthdays and weddings. From here they will greet the thousands of Royal Subjects, gathered to praise, cheer and wave the flags. Despite growing up a 5 minute bike ride from all this, I never attended it myself before that one day, many years ago. I decided on a whim to give it a go, and see what the fuss was about. And about half an hour before, I went. You see where this is going? I only made it to the neighbouring street, before I hit the crowd, and a dead stop. From there I could hear the cheers and people go absolutely bananas. And I found myself oddly disappointed to miss the view. 

We were stuck there for a little less than an hour, and as the crowd cleared out, I decided to go and at least see the balcony, and the empty place. It was the saddest sight. There were about 10-15 people gathered below the empty balcony, parents of unbearably disappointed and sobbing children, still hanging on to their flags, on their parents shoulders. And as I stood there, the impossible happened: the Queen reappeared, just to wave to us. It was short but sweet, and I was humbled and overwhelmed by this extraordinary display of kindness. There is nothing the Queen can say or do, that will ever be able to erase the spot in my heart she earned right there. 


Vintage balcony action.


8 comments:

  1. hum, something difficult to understand for a french whose history has long ago gotten rid of monarchy. i have no affection for anything royal, but i heard your monarchy is not so bad. actually most french people think yours is a great and happy country with many social breakthroughs. i'm not a sociologist so i don't know. but your monarchy and the other european ones are responsible for offering jobs to many "journalists", and a lot of untertainment even in my country. so maybe i should be grateful ;-)

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  2. Haha, untertainment? So funny. These days the most talked about people in Denmark are media happy nobody's with no other talents than getting attention. At least the Royal Family has style and grace, and kindness... But I have noticed how the French has a strong loyalty to their shining stars, and especially departed ones, like Edith Piaff and Simone Signoret. That is quality for you.

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  3. Åh, Margrethe... hun er sgu helt i orden.

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  4. Det er hun nemlig. Verdens bedste dronningemor.

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  5. Jeg KAN ikke overgive mig til al den snak om "republik nu". Lange Grethe holder. Og hun holder sig godt!

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  6. Nemlig! Og hvis hun vil ryge sig i knæ, skal hun også have lov til det! Der er kun kærlighed herfra. :-) (haha, "Lange Grethe")

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  7. Lovely story! :-)

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  8. Thank you. It is close to my heart. :-)

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