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Queen Margrethe thanks public for sympathy over Prince Henrik’s dementia diagnosis in New Year’s Eve speech

Despite repeatedly stating that she would reign until death, rumours persisted yesterday ahead of Her Majesty Queen Margrethe of Denmark’s annual New Year’s Eve speech that she would announce her intent to abdicate. As expected by the majority, Her Majesty did no such thing in her yearly address from Amalienborg Palace.

It was a rough year for the Danish Royal Family, and the Queen acknowledged this during her address, mentioning the diagnosis of her husband, Prince Henrik, with dementia. On this subject, Her Majesty said, “In some ways, this has not been an easy year for my family and me. Therefore, we have been deeply touched by the sympathy and understanding extended to Prince Henrik by so very many people. We are very grateful for that. It makes everyday life easier for all of us.

“Life goes up and down. The most important thing is that we have people who are close to us.

“Therefore, I send my New Year greetings here tonight to all those who have experienced hard times in the old year and to each and every one who must sit alone.”

Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik onboard the royal yacht to celebrate their golden wedding anniversary in 2017. Photo: © Kongehuset

The Queen spoke about how the years seem to go by faster each year, especially for adults, “It seems as if time goes by faster and faster as we get on in years. It was different when we were children: It took forever, from getting up in the morning of Christmas Eve until we could finally gather around the Christmas tree. The days between Christmas and New Year were full of life and activity, but on New Year’s Eve time dragged again until we could listen to the bells of the Copenhagen City Hall, and the whole city exploded in fireworks and golden rain.”

She also talked about the joys of being together with the ones you love and how the world always looks to the beginning of a new year for “new hope and renewed strength.” Moving on, she mentioned how people’s differences make the world go around. She also spoke about the economic growth in the country and how Denmark needs all hands on deck to do the many jobs available. The Queen also spoke about the changes her generation has seen over the years, but that “the keynote remains rooted in a culture and a way of life that has emerged and grown here in our country.”

Her Majesty’s address also included the topics of modern families, people’s day-to-day lives, the upcoming trip of the Crown Prince Couple to the Faroe Islands, the journeys of the Royal Family during 2017, thanked emergency services and sent condolences to those impacted by the tsunami last summer in Nuugaatsiaq and Illorsuit in Greenland. Queen Margrethe also gave a suggestion to the Danish people, “That we sometimes do something different from what we usually do. Something beyond the practical tasks of everyday life. That we try and do something that is not necessary, something that there is no need for, something pointless!”

Concluding her speech, Queen Margrethe remarked, “My wish is that the new year will bring hope and joy to everybody. God bless Denmark.”

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