NY speeches: Lars and the regal girl

Terror and refugees the focus as the PM and the queen address the nation

Lars on autocue, the queen on autopilot Lars on autocue, the queen on autopilot
January 9th, 2016 1:00 pm| by Shifa Rahaman

Lars Løkke Rasmussen
Job: Prime Minister
Age: 51
When: Jan 1 at 19:15
Where: Marienborg
How long: 15:55 minutes (mostly autocue)
Main focus: terror in the world, refugees in Denmark, border controls, tax breaks for companies and professionals
Appearance: charcoal grey suit and tie, stern expression
Main points: Tribute to ‘Dane of the Year’ Dan Uzan and victims of terror the world over; border controls in Germany; a need to balance idealism and realism with respect to how many refugees Denmark can accommodate; pride with regard to Denmark’s improving economy; new tax breaks for the private sector and working professionals; the EU referendum vote; and the need for politicians to listen to the country’s citizens
Sample quotes: “For let us be honest with each other – we are challenged: it challenges our economy when we need many additional billions on asylum seekers and refugees. It challenges our cohesiveness when there are many here from very different cultures.”/ “We must all take care of Denmark.” / “Fewer Danes shall be supported by the public, and more people shall support themselves.”
Bloopers: None that we could make out. Though his tone was stern throughout – and bordered on angry a lot of the time.

Margrethe II of Denmark
Job: Queen
Age: 75
When: Dec 31 at 18:00
Where: Fredensborg Palace
How long: 11:29 minutes (read from notes)
Main focus: terror in Europe, refugees, Prince Henrik’s retirement
Appearance: festive, burnt orange dress with turquoise and gold accessories; hair up in a chignon
Main points: Tribute to terror victims in Denmark, Paris and all over the world; a need to look to the future for hope and not give into despair or anxiety; a need to figure out how best to help refugees arriving in Denmark and how many can be helped; Prince Henrik’s decision to retire.
Sample quote: “No man is an island, we are all part of one whole.” / “My husband has decided that now is the time for him to ‘slow down’ – to, if I may say it in plain Danish, to retire.”
Bloopers: Queen Margrethe struggled at points during the speech and seemed to lose her place often. Two minutes into her speech, she skipped over a page about Denmark’s need to help the refugees arriving at its borders and had to go back and read it a few minutes later, breaking the continuity just a wee bit.