January State Visits: Denmark hosts Iceland's President
Queen Margrethe of Denmark has got this year's European State Visit schedule started
(photo detdanksekongehus Facebook still)
The State Visits for 2017 are underway. Not surprisingly, as they've been leading the way with getting the regal year started, it's Denmark's royals who have been first to roll out the red carpet. This week, Queen Margrethe II and her family welcomed the President of Iceland and his wife on a two day State Visit. There were business and innovation discussions, a chance to see Frederik eat his way through a whole restaurant kitchen and a State Dinner with four, count them, four tiaras. Welcome to State Visits for 2017, starting with Denmark hosting Iceland.
The official welcome that started this year's State Visits was all very stylish. On a cool, grey morning in Copenhagen, a rather elegant vintage car swept up to the Amalienborg Palace, dropping the President of Iceland, Gudni Johannesson and his wife, Eliza Reid off just as Queen Margrethe II and Prince Henrik stepped out to meet them.
Then it was inside for official photos and a chat before the President of Iceland and his wife were given a tour of Christiansborg Castle and met Denmark's Prime Minister, Lars Lokke Rasmussen, and his wife, Solrun,
The afternoon of January 24th 2017 included the handing over of a very nice present indeed from the guests who handed over a a complete translation into Danish of the Icelandic Sagas while President Johannesson gave his first speech of the State Visit.
The first day of a State Visit means a State Banquet which means gala dress and tiaras with Queen Margrethe leading the way in her rather unusual golden diadem - there's a full run down of all the sparkle from it here but why not have another tiara, just to keep you going. Yep, Mary got out her new diamonds again. Well, when they're that pretty, why wouldn't you?
There were speeches from the Queen of Denmark and from President Johannesson with Margrethe mentioning the friendship between the two countries, touching on the history of saga poetry in both nations and looking to the future and ongoing strong relations with Iceland which was ruled by the Danish monarch until 1944.
Day two started off with more literature as the President of Iceland headed to Copenhagen University to see their collection of medieval manuscripts and hear about preservation work. Then it was all eyes to the future as he joined Crown Prince Frederik at a seminar on innovation in industry.
His wife, Eliza Reid, accompanied Crown Princess Mary on a visit to Tante Orne school in Copenhagen to see how a programme developed by the Mary Foundation helps children to learn confidence and improve language through reading. The two also visited UN City which houses nine UN agencies in Copenhagen.
No tiaras this time round and this gala evening saw the official welcome take place, rather bizarrely, by a lift and a small cupboard under some eaves.