Her Majesty Queen Margrethe has returned to official duties following the death of her husband, Prince Henrik of Denmark on 13 February this year at the age of 83. She undertook her first solo engagement this week to present the ‘Queen’s Clock’ at the Royal Copenhagen Livgarde barracks at Rosenborg Castle in Copenhagen.
Awarded to a guardian in recognition of extraordinary effort, the ‘Queen’s Clock’ is a certificate of honour and is granted to the guardian of the watchdog chosen as the best of the service at the end of the service period. During a brief ceremony, Her Majesty presented the watch to guardian Jens Jacob Leegaard Nicolajsen from Lemvig.
The Livgarde (“Royal Life Guards” in English) are an infantry regiment of the Danish Army which serve both as a front-line combat unit and as a ceremonial guard unit to the Danish monarch. The Royal Life Guards provide a permanent guard at Amalienborg Palace and Rosenborg Castle – which is also the garrison of the Royal Life Guards in Copenhagen – and will celebrate 400 years of service in June 2018.
The regiment acted as guardians during the formal proceedings following Prince Henrik’s death and during her visit Queen Margrethe made a special point of thanking the whole company for all of their efforts and work during that difficult time.
She also made special mention of the assistance they provided in fulfilling Prince Henrik’s final surprise – arranging the tribute flowers at his funeral into a “blooming garden” for his wife and partner of 50 years. It was a touching nod to their union as during the prince’s wedding speech in 1967 the French-born Henrik (then Henri de Laborde de Monpezat) said: ‘I came from a country of flowers into a blossoming garden. Lilac and golden rain, elderflower and peonies, flowers in parks, fields and forests. But the girl, however, was the garden’s single most beautiful adornment.’