Queen Margrethe addressed the Danes on New Year’s Eve telling them to “not lose heart” over the COVID-19 situation as we all have a reason to rejoice now that there is a vaccine.
She began by mentioning how the pandemic hit Europe saying it was “a disease which nobody knew and which we had no medicines against.” She spoke of how things eased in the summer where people could be out again and even enjoy the beach. However, she said COVID-19 returned in the autumn stronger than ever.
The Queen thanked the first responders and those in the healthcare field who have worked tirelessly during the pandemic. She also addressed those who have faced loneliness during the pandemic. “No doubt it has been frustrating not to be able to gather in large groups and to see one music festival after another being cancelled. I understand that very well, but we must see this through,” the Queen said.
Discussing how there is hope that things will be headed in the right direction but that the winter months will not be easy. She stressed that people must continue to live with the restrictions put into place, but she then encouraged the Danes to not lose hope.
She said: “However, let us not lose heart, let us continue to practice caution and consideration when socialising with others. It is a source of joy and encouragement that the vaccine is now a reality and that vaccination has started.”
Her Majesty reflected on the events that were cancelled this year including the celebrations for centenary of the Reunification of South Jutland with Denmark. She said she was also thinking of the Danes who live in South Schleswig who have been cut off from the rest of Denmark due to border closings.
She mentioned how Greenland and the Faroe Islands were impacted by COVID-19 and shared her hope that by summer she can visit both territories. Next year will mark centenary of the first-ever visit by a monarch to Greenland when Margrethe’s grandfather, Christian X, first travelled to the North American territory.
The Queen also shared how she celebrated Christmas with her son, Prince Joachim and his family, as well as how she marked the holiday with Crown Prince Frederik and his family. She mentioned Joachim’s illness this year saying that it was a “joy” to be together again to see how well he has recovered.
Queen Margrethe closed her yearly address with some poignant remarks: “Tonight, we bid farewell to a strange year. We will not forget 2020. This year has been a trial by fire, but we have shown that when it comes to the crunch we can stand together, and we manage to find moments of light, in spite of deprivation and uncertainty.
“We are now entering 2021. I hope the new year will be a year that brings us many joys and where we continue to remember to be there for each other.”
Her full speech, translated into English, can be read here.