One of the highlights of Christmas Day in many UK households is The Queen’s Speech at 3:00 pm. Denmark has a similar highlight but at 6:00 pm on New Year’s Eve where Queen Margrethe gives a speech which is broadcast live on television, radio and the internet.
Traditionally this address is given from the Queen’s drawing room in Christian IX’s Palace at Amalienborg. However, this year the address will be given from Fredensborg Palace it has been announced this week.
The move is due to drainage work being undertaken at Amalienborg. The work is to ensure the quick passage of water away from the area into the harbour if there is heavy rain and potentially flash floods. This is not the first time the switch has been made to Fredensborg Palace; the switch has taken place on two previous occasions, 1979 and 1980, and more recently 2014 & 2015 – the latter when renovation work was being undertaken at Christian IX’s Palace.
Whilst the speech is being given, the Outer Palace Yard at Fredensborg will be open to the general public, whilst in the Inner Palace Yard, the Royal Life Guards, Guard of Honour will take place, beginning just prior to Her Majesty’s address. The watch stands at attention with rifles and with colours and two drummers while the address is delivered. After the address, “King Christian stood by the lofty mast” is played.
Fredensborg Palace, the location for the speech, is more often used as the spring and autumn home of the Danish Royal Family. It is located on the eastern shore of Lake Esrum on Zealand. It was built as a pleasure palace in the eighteenth century, and the half-constructed palace was the location of the signing of a treaty which ended the Great North War between Norway and Denmark and Sweden. Hence the name Fredensborg which translates into English as Peace’s Castle. Could there be a more apt place to give a speech to give hope for a New Year than Peace’s Castle?