Yesterday, Her Royal Highness Princess Marie of Denmark started a four-day visit to Greenland. The reason that the Princess initiated such a long visit to Greenland alone is that she will attend an autism conference for her patronage, the National Association for Autism.
Her Royal Highness arrived at the airport at Greenland’s largest city, Nuuk, slightly before one o’clock in the morning, local time. There she was welcomed solemnly by Sara Olsvig, member of Greenland’s government; Heidi Thamestrup, Country Chairman; and Mikela Engell and Karsten High, chairpeople of the National Association of Autism’s local branch on Greenland.
Shortly after the Princess had been welcomed by members of Official Greenland, she visited a young man with autism who has been working at Nuuk Airport. Her Royal Highness took the time to speak with the young man and was told what tasks he does; she also had the opportunity to participate in some of his daily duties at Greenland’s busiest airport.
Both the Danish and Greenlandic media were present at the airport when the Princess left the area after talking with the young man. The Princess told KNR’s reporter before she left the airport, “I am looking forward to increasing the awareness of autism through the upcoming conference. It has been an amazing journey so far, and I am excited to be here for the next three days.” Her Royal Highness spent the rest of the day privately.
Today, Princess Marie began her official duties early. She visited the institution Suluppaluk. This is a day open centre for young Greenlanders who suffer from autism. The centre has a strong focus on helping young people to continue their education and acquire a workplace that is adapted for people with special needs. The institution has four permanent residents and more who visit the centre daily. The Princess took her time in talking with the permanent residents.
After the visit at the institution, Princess Marie travelled on to the institution Qiimaneq. This is also a day open institution for people with autism, but this facility is reserved specifically for adults. The centre has six permanent residents, and they are helping to also organise activities for people with autism who live elsewhere on Greenland. The Princess, on her arrival, heard a short lecture from the centre’s representatives; they told about what they do to make life easier for autistics, and then she met both the residents and people who work at the centre. In the afternoon, Her Royal Highness visited the Greenland National Museum where she got a private tour by the museum’s director.