What a lovely few days we have had here in Copenhagen, Denmark. Finally, I would say. With the temperature around 70-75 degrees Fahrenheit for 3 solid days, I was not about to stay indoors too long.
The first of May is a special day here in Denmark. On this day, most workers get a half day off depending on where they work or if they have time to take the day off. Most people go out to the places where the politicians will show up and do speeches about why we should support them and their parties. I have only been there a few times for two main reasons. First off, most of the time I can’t hear what the politicians say because in the background there are a lot of noises from the people in the park or from other politicians talking on nearby platforms. Secondly, even though most people go there to hear the speeches, others do it to meet up with others and have a good time. So it is a mix, but it does make it hard for me to both keep track of the speeches and enjoy a conversation with the friends I meet there. It has been a long time since I was there, so it could have changed, but I doubt it. I prefer at times to just read about it on the internet or watch it, as the TV stations usually put up some clips or write about what the politicians talked about. I did read that one party did not go out that day at all. Instead, they had put up a sign where they were supposed to be stating, “We rather work to find a solution to get more people back to work than doing speeches.” I think that is a first for this to happen, but in these days a good move. However, that’s another story and I am not into politics that much.
Now what does politics and a touch of Royal have to do with each other? You would think they have a lot in common when really they could not be much more far cry from each other. The touch of Royal is a whole lot trickier as well, I might add.
Denmark has a monarchy which goes way back in time. At this time we have a queen and she has two sons. The eldest son, Crown Prince Frederik the 10th, will take over one day. I will only tell a small amount about the Royal family and politics here. The Royal family cannot partake in any part of politics, as that was written into the law when the change of monarchy happened. Instead of the Royal family being in charge of the laws, it is the politics and the Danish people who decide that by election and such. However, the Danish Royal family still has a great deal to do nowadays. Some may think of them as icing on top of a cake. But make no mistake, they care a lot for what they stand for and what they do. When they attend the different arrangements, companies, or what they support, they will take time so they know what they are talking about or supporting. So, in some cases it goes both ways. The politicians at times need them to help boost the Danish work out in the world. The Crown Prince and his wife were in New York awhile back doing just that. On the other side, it is the government who decide how much of the tax money goes to the Royal family. It’s tricky, but they do it and that’s all I’m going to comment about on the difference between the politics and the Royal family.
I, for one, am a small “royalist”, meaning I like the Royal Family and over the years I have come to respect our Crown Prince a whole lot more. Over the years, ever since he accepted the thought of being the King of Denmark one day, the Crown Prince has proved multiple times he is ready when the time comes. Not only did he succeed in his military training with flying colors, he is also a – the best description is we have a unit similar to SEAL – so he is a “Seal” fighter pilot… you get the idea. He has pushed himself to the limits and proved over and over, that he is good enough to be King and he is ready for the task too.
Now, some people think it is impossible to see the Royal family out here, but they are actually out there more than one would think. It is just a question of knowing when. On the queen’s birthday, you can see them at the balcony, when the Danish people will congratulate her. They also can be seen out when at sports events or something else related to what they support. I have been lucky enough to see the Crown Prince a few times, but last week was the one time that most definitely took me by so much surprise that I must have looked weird with the gawking/ surprised look on my face.
On my way home from a TV set with my best friend we were walking just down the road from the Royal family’s home called Amalienborg. The weather was great and my friend hadn’t been there in a while. When we got into the square of the Royal family home, which is open for people to walk around in, we talked briefly about whether or not any of the Royal family was home. I learned last year, at times you can tell if they are home or not by the flag on the roof. I could tell the Crown Prince or his wife was home, as well as his brother. While talking about that, my friend asked me if I could take a photo of her with the guard. Usually they stand still, but they had started on their walks about the premises, so we had to do it a bit differently. I got the photo and even though I knew I was standing in the path of the driveway of the Crown Prince’s home, I didn’t give it many thoughts as it is so rare you see the doors opening, and if they do open, usually it will be a car coming out. My friend heard the doors opening slowly and we moved a bit out of the way in case a car came out. But to our utterly gawking surprise, we saw the Crown Prince jumping up on his mountain bike, getting in gear only a few steps from us, and then he drove off, quickly followed by his security guards both on bike and in car. Talk about being surprised.
I had my camera in front of me, and in that split second (imagine your life flash before your eyes short of thing), I debated whether or not to take a photo, as it was a private matter. He didn’t stop for a portrait or poster photo and the Royal family had, just last year, kindly asked the press and paparazzi to respect their private lives and they will invite the press and photographers in, when it is needed. So, I was debating if I was stepping over that line or not – but on the other hand, what do you do? It is not that often you meet the Royal family on a normal day while strolling in Copenhagen, so I took a photo and have for now only showed it here. So sometimes you can be lucky to see a Royal family member out there and other times you just read about them in the magazines.
The last reason for why I have come to respect the Crown Prince so much is because he is protector of the “National Association for Better Hearing” and has been in this magazine where he talked about the importance to protect your hearing and such. He took over this protector duty from his grandmother, who meant a lot to him. So yes, I am a “royalist”.
If you want to learn more about the Crown Prince, you can go to his website and read about him (yes it is in English): http://kongehuset.dk/english/The-Royal-House/Crown-Prince-Couple/HRH-Crown-Prince-Frederik
The first photo is from 2007, where the Crown Prince showed up at the final soccer game at the Local City Hall in Copenhagen, where the homeless had played soccer for a few days until the finals. The second photo is from the day when my best friend and I saw him coming out from his home. I have, for privacy reasons, intentionally blurred the security guy’s face in the back. I haven't showed it to anyone, so this is a first-time exclusive picture so please respect the copyrights.
The Quiet Photographer