On September 15th, 1895 a small baby girl was christened. She received the names Margrethe Françoise Louise Marie Helene. She was not just any child, but a Princess of Denmark and the daughter of HRH Prince Waldemar of Denmark and HRH Princess Marie. The first name Margrethe she was given after her mother’s sister Princess Marguerite of Orléans. The second name was that of her maternal grandmother and great-grandmother while Louise was after her paternal grandmother Queen Louise of Denmark. So an impressive “pedigree” in other words.
Her christening caused a lot of family from around Europe to gather in Denmark. Some of them were already there on holiday as they visited their parents, the old King and Queen of Denmark. Others travelled up to Copenhagen just to attend the joyous event.
Princess Margrethe would go on to become a very popular and beloved member of the Danish Royal Family with her positive disposition. She would of course later become a Princess of Bourbon-Parma when in 1921 she married His Royal Highness Prince René of Bourbon-Parma – a brother to HIM The Empress of Austria and Queen of Hungary, Zita.
It was not only King Carl XVI Gustaf, his family and the Presidential couple who wore colourful order insignia at the State Banquet which took place on the first evening of the State Visit. Both politicians and aides / courtiers were awarded honours in recognition of their meticulous planning and execution of the program which made the visit a success.
To see an initial list of those who received orders and those who wore them, press here.
Up to now most of the content on this site has been grand Royal events from the past, like State Visits during the reign of HM King Haakon VII of Norway and HM King Christian X of Denmark for instance. But when the German State Visit to Sweden took place earlier this month it was such a joy to again see some proper glitter and splendour that it deserved to be mentioned on this site.
Some Covid restrictions are still in place, though. Thus it was not possible to invite as many guests as is usually the case for the State Banquet that took place on the first evening. But we were at least able to see that the Queen and the Crown Princess brought out some of their best jewels for the occasion. And they looked spectacular. Some more details about the State Banquet and the engagements on the first day here.
It is so nice to see some glitter and elegance – and colours! – again after such a long time. Both Her Majesty the Queen of Sweden and Her Royal Highness the Crown Princess looked wonderful and His Majesty and the two Princes looked very elegant in their white-tie and the Sash and Star of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. A page will be created to cover this State Visit, but before that is up and published here is a nice video from the State Banquet at the Royal Palace hosted by Their Majesties in honour of their German guests:
On the third day of the State Visit to Norway by Queen Margrethe she was again presented to aspects of Norwegian history and culture by the way of visits to different museums. In the evening the Queen and her husband Prince Henrik hosted a return banquet in honour of the King of Norway.
To read more about this last day of the very successful State Visit press here. It will take you to the page created for this visit. Any comments will, as usual, be very welcomed.
The year after succeeding to the Danish throne Queen Margrethe II made three State Visits. She travelled first to Sweden where she was received by her grandfather King Gustav VI Adolf. Her second visit went to Norway. King Olav played host during her three days’ stay there and she and her husband were warmly received by the Norwegian Royal Family and the Norwegian people. As was the norm in those days each day ended with a splendid gala event; a State Banquet on the first day, a Gala Performance on the second day and on the last day the Queen and Prince Henry gave a return banquet.
Day two of the Dutch Royal Couple’s State Visit saw visits to German State Institutions, mixed with other engagements and finally ended with a concert hosted by the Dutch Royal Couple in honour of the German President and his wife.
To read more about the second day, please press here and it will take you to the page created for this visit on this blog.
Should you have any additional information you want to share, or have any comments to the page content please do not hesitate to do so. You can also send an e-mail. It would be very nice to hear from you.
Having focused mostly on the State Visits under the reign of King Haakon VII and King Olav V of Norway for the beginning of my blog I could not avoid getting rather excited about the Dutch State Visit to Germany this month. After a long absence of glittering occasions due to the Covid-19 pandemic it was so nice to see King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and Queen Máxima go ahead with this State Visit to Germany. And not only did they pay a visit, the Queen also decided to put on some stunning glitter for the State Banquet on the first day. I think it was something that many of us “royal watchers” had been looking forward to and it was no surprise that it was the Dutch Queen that was the first one to bring out the grand jewels again. She is really a gem.
So unlike the State Visit to Spain not that long ago, where tiaras and orders were left in the vault and drawers of the Palace, this was a return to the more or less normal State Visit. That’s right, orders were worn (even though some press managed to report that orders were not worn), one only has to take a quick look at the Royal Couple as they arrive at the Bellevue Palace, the German presidential residence, to see that they had the minitures of their new orders of Grand Cross Special Class of the Order of the Federal Republic of Germany pinned to their garments.
To read more about the first day of the visit and even a list of people attending the State Banquet, just press here. It will take you to the page created to cover this State Visit.
Comments and additional information is always very much appreciated, so do not hesitate to type your thoughts below (or directly on the page created for the State Visit itself)
The Norwegian Government at the time of Queen Elizabeth’s visit in 1955 was made up by members of the Labour party (Arbeiderpartiet). They were not great believers in the Honour system and would probably have declined any Orders offered to them. The Labour party also had the Mayor of London office. So it doesn’t seem like the Queen awarded any Orders to Norwegians (apart from Crown Prince and Prince Harald), but did award some of the British diplomats.
King Haakon also awarded some in the Queen’s entourage with the Order of St. Olav. However, it was not widely reported in the press and the full list and the grades awarded are still not listed on the page created here. The only one which is known for certain is the Grand Cross with Collar awarded to Her Majesty.
Any help to complete the list or any comments you might have it would be very nice to hear from you.
During this last day of the State Visit which had been very successful the Royal guests did not have a very busy schedule as such. This was a Sunday and the first engagement for the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh was to attend Sunday Service a the small Anglican church in Oslo.
Later on Crown Prince Olav hosted a lunch for about 40 guests at his country estate and official residence, Skaugum. It was a more relaxed setting and the Royal gentlemen had discarded their uniforms and wore instead suit and tie, no doubt to make it feel more like a familiar setting.
In the evening the Queen and Prince Philip hosted a dinner onboard the Royal Yacht for a selected group before beginning their journey back to the United Kingdom.
The visit had been a great success. Everywhere they went the young Queen and the handsome Prince were met with enthusiastic cheers from large crowds gathered in the streets, in the squares and from buildings. Though the Queen had already got experience meeting officials abroad during her visits to many of the Commonwealth countries the year before it must have been reassuring to complete her first State Visit in the company of the close family that was the Norwegian Royal Family. She naturally had met both the King and the Crown Prince many times as they were resisting the German invation of Norway during WWII from London. And King Haakon had already paid a State Visit to the United Kingdom when the Queen, then Princess Elizabeth, had to deputy for her father who had been taken ill.
For King Haakon it must also have been very rewarding to receive his close relative to his kingdom for which he had done so much and which was again free and independent. Maybe at some of those gathering during the State Visit the old King shared some advice to the new Queen if she asked. After all he himself had had a long and very successful reign, being very much loved by his subjects.
Sadly the King fell on the bathroom floor at his country estate only a few days after the British guests had left Norway. He was left with a broken hip and he never really recovered from this.
If you would like to read more about the last day of Queen Elizabeth’s State Visit to Norway, please press here.