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Bill Clinton shares his biggest surprise on meeting Queen Margrethe


This week, Denmark celebrates the Golden Jubilee of Queen Margrethe II. Danish TV channels have, through the last few weeks, broadcast a number of programmes about the Queen’s life and work. Denmark’s largest TV channel recently showed a new documentary about the Queen including comments from former US President, Bill Clinton.

When President Clinton visited Denmark in 1997, he stayed at Fredensborg Castle and felt very welcome. It was the first time that a US president had visited Denmark, which was a good ally in NATO. Clinton says in an interview with DR: “The Queen made me feel very much at home. It was a magnificent accommodation, a wonderful place to visit”.

However, what gave rise to the most attention was President Clinton’s arrival at Queen Margrethe’s home. The president landed in a private helicopter on the landing site in front of Fredensborg Castle, where he was received by Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik, while the lifeguard marched around, the music corps played, and a cannon salute fired 21 shots. It was the first time anyone had arrived at the palace by helicopter

During the visit, Bill Clinton stayed at the castle and had dinner in the Dome Hall. Even for a president, it was an experience that made good memories. Clinton further says: “I remember when it was over, I walked around and sensed the atmosphere of the castle. I looked at a lot of artefacts and tried to understand the history and culture. It was fascinating, I loved being there. I like learning the history of the places I visit. Denmark is a very old country. The country has been a good democracy for a good period as well, but it is an old country with a lot of history. It surprised me to hear that Queen Margrethe was the first female monarch since the 14th century. That surprised me”.

About author

Senior Europe Correspondent Oskar Aanmoen has a master in military and political history of the Nordic countries. He has written six books on historical subjects and more than 1.500 articles for Royal Central. He has also interview both Serbian and Norwegian royals. Aanmoen is based in Oslo, Norway.