Sunday, April 17, 2011

Wishing the Queen a happy 71st birthday!

Yesterday (April 16th) was the Queen of Denmark's birthday. Quite an event for the Danish folks, with major celebrations all around Denmark, starting of course in Copenhagen. Last year, the Queen had arrived to Aarhus a few weeks later on her famous Dannebrog boat and she had traveled across town on a horse carriage. A concert had been given in her honor in the local stadium.

But this year, "completely against tradition" as we were told, the Queen was in Aarhus and not Copenhagen to celebrate her 71st birthday. Must have been quite shocking to our friends in Copenhagen, but oh well, they'll get over it...

For this special occasion, all of us faithful subjects of her majesty in Aarhus were allowed on the Eastern lawn of the Marselisborg residence. There, it was arranged that the Queen and her dear husband Henri would walk out on the balcony to wave at the crowd and receive happy birthday wishes from us. We would also be treated to a pure display of delightfully old-fashioned tradition with life-size (and alive) lead soldiers like we expect to find them around royal castles, were it in Denmark, England or Monaco.

So sure enough we were present at such an important event (might as well go to see what they do with your taxes when you can ;-). And at 12pm the door opened to let the Queen and her husband be greeted by a chorus of "tilykke" ("congratulations" in Danish), as well as both the traditional Danish birthday song and the more famous one that the rest of the world knows... Of course Danish flags were everywhere...

The Danes really love their Queen, and well, such traditions are growing on us... Q relates to her husband Henri, a fellow French expat in Scandinavia... Wishing we could all get together and have a good time around some glasses of red wine down in his chateau in Sout-Western France... Aren't we all part of the same large family anyway?

We could debate for hours on the purpose and usefulness of holding on to such outdated traditions, but in the meantime, long live the Queen!

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