CPH Post


Queen Margrethe warns against pettiness in New Year's address

Queen says that Denmark may be small but it shouldn't be small-minded

For the 42nd consecutive time, Queen Margrethe II spoke to Denmark on New Year's Eve (Photo: Scanpix / Keld Navntoft)

December 31, 2013

by Justin Cremer

New Year’s revellers nationwide took a break from their preparations this evening to tune in to hear Queen Margrethe II deliver her annual New Year’s Eve address.

And what they heard was a speech that delivered a warning against pettiness. 

Speaking to the nation for the 42nd time, the queen urged respect for others and cautioned against being close-minded.

“Sure, Denmark is a small country, but we need to be careful that we don’t become a small-minded country,” Queen Margrethe said. 

The queen also appealed to Danes to recognise and respect each other’s differences while also remaining part of a shared culture.

“Denmark is a country with many different people,” she said. “Some have always lived here, some have come here. But we are a part of the same society and therefore we share the same conditions, both big and small, good and bad.”

Mostly familiar speech
Wearing a red dress with a large golden flower brooch, much of the queen’s speech focused on familiar themes. After a start that focused on taking time out from busy everyday life to care for others, the queen went on to salute the contributions of Danish soldiers and send greetings to her subjects in the Faroe Islands and Greenland, as well as Danes watching the speech from abroad. 

But she did touch on some current events. Queen Margrethe referred to Greenland's decision to overturn a ban on uranium mining by cautioning that the “new possibilities for utilising [Greenland’s] rich resources” requires “great responsibility for all involved”.

And looking back at the year that was, the queen also referenced the 70-year anniversary of Danish fishermen’s efforts to transport the country’s Jews to safety into Sweden. 

“The Danish society displayed its strength when men and women from all levels of society – as different as they were – spontaneously contributed to finding ways out, organised escape routes, and provided food and board without concerns for their own safety,” Queen Margrethe said. 

The 15-minute address ended with the customary “God save Denmark” (Gud bevare Danmark).

In a minor self-created controversy, some media outlets and journalists complained that the text of the speech was not made available to the press beforehand. The decision was made in light of criticism levelled at public broadcaster DR, which spent hours speculating on the content on PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt’s New Year’s address last year despite having had the speech well in advance. The PM’s speech tomorrow will only be given to journalists 15 minutes before she addresses the nation.

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