Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Queen's Birthday

On April 16, we joined many other Danes and confused foreigners in celebrating Queen Margrethe's birthday. She turned 70 years old this year! Due to the Icelandic volcano, several dignitaries invited were unable to show; but the royalty local to Scandinavia came by train.

The queen was traveling to the City Hall from the royal castle by carriage, and so we lined up with with many others along part of the route, and waited with flag in hand.

Soon the queen (seen in blue) and crown prince (seen next to the blue) rolled on by, but not before several intimidating calvary armed with swords. From where we stood, the queen passed not more than 9 feet from us.

Once the queen and crown prince reached the door of City Hall, they turned and waved at the flags that did wave. Was that it?

No! There was a very long line of maybe 70 strudels or cakes, topped with a flattering likeness of the queen wearing a dress emblazoned with a "70", and on each cut piece were several pieces of gummy candy and/or licorice.

The Danish are crazy about their gummies and licorice. Here Carla stands before the Haribo bear who itself stands before sugar-crazed children with a box-full of gummies.

Eventually the queen gave a short broadcast speech from within City Hall, and then came out onto the balcony and waved some more. Right after this moment, the whole crowd rushed to get a piece of cake. We survived the initial crush with our two pieces intact; but we certainly had the feeling that if this country was 10 times larger, there would have been some casualties.

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