One would call it good breeding, wouldn’t one: writing thank you letters to everyone who has given you a birthday present.
So it will surprise few to learn that Queen Margrethe II of Denmark knuckled down following her recent 76th birthday celebrations to pen some missives to her loyal subjects.
PM Lars Løkke Rasmussen would have got one – possibly with a note to hold back on the perfume next time – and maybe Mads Mikkelsen too.
But despite the long list, she even found time to send one to a local pizza delivery man.
Delivered with a Dannebrog
Now, you’ve only got one guess at what variety of pizza Italy’s Michele Lucarelli delivered to Queen Margrethe II.
No it wasn’t smoking hot pepperoni because she enjoys a cigarette or two. Or a Four Seasons … because everyone knows Denmark only has two: Arctic and pollen allergy.
“Not only is Margherita the equivalent of Margrethe in my home country, it’s also the Italian word for ‘daisy flower’, which I believe is her nickname,” explained Lucarelli, 35, who it transpired is not your average moped-driving, teenage pizza delivery man.
“And also, I used it to pay a tribute to the red and white in the Dannebrog, the Danish flag – the classic birthday tribute in this country.”
Pizza in the piazza of the palace
We weren’t lying when we said Lucarelli was a neighbour of the queen’s, as he is mainly active in Ameliehaven, gardens close to her main palace of residence, where he sells pizzas from the back of his 400 kilo cargo bike.
It’s heavy because it contains an oven. Stop him as he bikes, and he breaks and bakes – food on the go like you’ve never seen it before. He intends to be in Copenhagen all summer.
‘Bike and Bake’ has been the subject of a lot of media attention in his home country, including the newspapers La Repubblica and Il Mattino, where he has been applauded for a project that encourages integration.
Pedalling with a passion for pepperoni and people
Given the ease with which he made a connection with the queen, there’s no stopping him – and with a handful of degrees and master’s in sociology, event organisation, enogastronomy and journalism, you suspect he knows what he’s doing.
“I started this project because it is a way to go beyond borders. I don’t want to do it alone but with others – in order to fuel integration,” he said.
“I am moved by passion: a love of travelling and discovering new cultures.”