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European Royals

Spanish State Visit to Denmark draws unexpected attention but royals keep focus on co-operation

The most intense day of any State Visit is always the second one, because all the formalities are left behind on day one, and the real cooperation work begins. However, the Spanish State Visit to Denmark saw a further focus as day two went on and for unseen reasons.

Day two of the Spanish State Visit to Denmark had begun bright and early for King Felipe and Crown Prince Frederik, who arrived around 9:30am at the NH Collection hotel in Copenhagen to attend the Spain-Denmark Business Forum. 

Casa de S.M. el Rey

In the presence of both the Spanish and Danish Foreign Ministers, as well as representatives from more than 60 Spanish and more than 80 Danish businesses, the King and the Crown Prince listened as officials talked about the possible future of sustainable infrastructure construction. 

King Felipe gave a few words, remarking how both countries are among the leading forces in the European effort to reach climate neutrality by 2050: “The fluent relationship between Denmark and Spain allows us to cooperate effectively in this field. In fact, both countries are nowadays leading the European clean energy sector. An array of Danish and Spanish enterprises are among those leading the way in the development of green and innovative energy infrastructures. Some of them are here today”. 

The royals then listened to the roundtable discussion “Cooperation strategies between Denmark and Spain”, during which a video was projected illustrating Spanish projects being carried out, and how increased bilateral cooperation will make it easier to reach certain goals. 

Casa de S.M. el Rey

The King and the Crown Prince were then joined by Queen Letizia and Crown Princess Mary for a ceremony at the Citadel, the monument commemorating all soldiers that gave their life at the Citadel. 

After King Felipe and Crown Prince Frederik reviewed troops, the four of them walked towards the eternal flame, where a soldier placed a floral wreath from the Spanish King and Queen. After the ceremony, the royals took a brief tour of the complex with the Commander of the Copenhagen force. 

Casa de S.M. el Rey

The four royals then travelled to Copenhagen City Hall, where they were joined by Queen Margrethe in a tradition that began with another State Visit from a fellow Monarch. The Spanish King and Queen were served Town Hall Pancakes (pancakes with cream and nuts on top); the first time this happened was in 1928, when King Albert of Belgium visited the town hall, as is traditional to do during State Visits. He was served this dessert, and it was such a success that it became the signature dish to serve to any Head of State that visits Copenhagen City Hall ever since. 

After the reception, and with their stomachs full, Queen Margrethe, King Felipe, Queen Letizia, Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary headed over to Copenhagen University, where they were given a tour of the archives room, where books and manuscripts are preserved, and where Professor Matthew Driscoll discovered “El Libro de los Epítomes”, a compilation of summaries of all of the books that were known up until 1540. The monumental effort was made by Hernando Colón, illegitimate child of the owner of Sevilla’s largest book collection. 

Casa de S.M. el Rey

While Queen Margrethe made her way back to the Palace, King Felipe, Queen Letizia, Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary visited the University’s Spanish Department, where they were given a tour of an exhibition containing documents about the cultural history of the relations between the two countries. To conclude their visit to Copenhagen University, the royals attended an informal meeting with members of the Danish academic community involved in the study of Spanish culture. 

For lunch, King Felipe and Crown Prince Frederik headed to the Spanish Embassy, where they met with representatives of 16 Spanish businesses. The meeting also saw the presence of both Foreign Ministers, Ambassadors and other officials both on the Danish and the Spanish side. 

Casa de S.M. el Rey

Meanwhile, Queen Letizia and Crown Princess Mary arrived at Risgshospitalet, where they were welcomed by a group of children, who presented them with drawings. After receiving a visual tour of the facility from its director, Queen Letizia and Crown Princess Mary visited the pilot module of the Mary Elizabeth Hospital, dedicated to mothers and children, with a special focus on the care of patients as a whole. 

The entire structure, which will be the first children’s hospital in Denmark, will open its door in 2026, and is being designed to keep in mind that healthcare is a collective effort, so it has to be carried out with the help not just of hospital staff, but also family and loved ones. It is named in honour of the Crown Princess of Denmark.

In the afternoon, King Felipe visited the Folketing, where he held a meeting with its President, Søren Gade, to whom the Monarch reiterated his firm belief “in the strength of the relationship between Spain and Denmark”, adding that he has “no doubt that our countries will continue to move forward politically, economically and socially, being champions of European democracy and working hard and to foster international peace and security”. 

Casa de S.M. el Rey

This whirlwind day concluded with an evening event and dinner offered by King Felipe and Queen Letizia, during which the royals were given a chance to tour the exhibition “Joaquín Sorolla – Lights in motion”. 

However, as they departed, it was Crown Princess Mary who was the focus of all attention after a Spanish magazine claimed it would publish photos of Crown Prince Frederik on a day out in Madrid with a female friend. The Crown Princess smiled broadly as she was greeted by a wall of flashbulbs on her exit from the event. The Danish Royal House had, just hours earlier, issued a statement saying it never commented on issues around the personal lives of its members.

The final day of the Spanish State Visit to Denmark will see King Felipe and Queen Letizia visit BLOX in Copenhagen with Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary, an event likely to draw far more international press attention now than previously expected. The King and Queen of Spain will also have a formal farewell with Queen Margrethe before returning to Madrid where Felipe VI will no doubt take stock of the political situation following two nights of protests in parts of the city against potential plans for a coalition government.