To Top

Ambassador said no to Obama to dine with Danish queen

Rufus Gifford, the US ambassador to the Kingdom of Denmark, faced a rare choice. He had to decide whether he would attend President Obama’s official farewell dinner in the United States or attend the traditional Danish New Year Banquet (Danish: Nytårstaffel) with Her Majesty Queen Margrethe of Denmark. The choice was not difficult for the ambassador, who met up with Queen Margrethe yesterday.

US Ambassador to Denmark, Rufus Gifford. Photo: United States Department of State via Wikimedia Commons.

Ambassador Rufus Gifford told Danish press that it was a bit difficult to be present at both events, as they were on the same day. Also, American Stephen De Vincent was invited to both dinners, and he also said yes to Queen Margrethe’s invitation and declined to dine with Obama. This was also the very last opportunity for the US Ambassador to attend a royal event in Denmark since his time as America’s ambassador to the small Nordic kingdom will come to an end when President-elect Trump takes office on 20 January; however, Trump could choose to keep Gifford at his post.

Ambassador Gifford said it was a strange feeling and very sad to know that this was the last Danish New Year banquet he would attend. He told Danish media yesterday that he would miss it. Next year, Queen Margrethe must prepare to invite President Donald Trump’s appointed United States Ambassador to Denmark.

Denmark and the United States have a good relationship. Here are Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik photographed with former President George W. Bush and his wife in 2005. Photo: Eric Draper via Wikimedia Commons.

The royal Danish New Year banquet is over a more than 400-year long tradition where the Queen invites diplomats and other influential people from Danish and international politics to celebrate the new year. The dinner takes place in a traditional setting at Christiansborg Castle in Copenhagen, and large parts of the Danish Royal Family is present during the dinner.

  • Observator14

    Rather that viewing this as a disrespect to President Obama, it is an act of Respect to Denmark and its people represented by the non-political Queen Margrethe.

    • bookworm

      There is very probably no disrespect intended to Pres.Obama at all. Rather it’s part of the stuff that goes with the ambassadorial posting. No need to find offence where its not intended!

      • Observator14

        Exactly. Regards for the New Year !

  • Wayne Rogers

    It makes sense to attend the Palace he is the Ambassador to Denmark after all and I suspect President Obama would understand that .

  • This is not news. The headline should read US Ambassador to Denmark chooses work over sycophancy. An ambassador doing his job is not news. This is another dogwhistle racist post to disrespect Obama when there is none. Sorry that Royal Central was duped by this.

  • Animosity4U

    Americans are backward racist. I don’t know how you Danes can stand to be near us!

More in Danish Royal Family