Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Daisy Does DC: Queen Margrethe II Visit to the US, Day One
So Daisy and Henrik have set out for the United States for an official visit to support Danish cultural and business pursuits in and with the US and in order to receive her "Person of the Year" award from the Danish American Society.
Monday night Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik were welcomed with a reception at the Danish Ambassador's residence in Washington, DC. Billed Bladet has a photo gallery of a ballet interpretation using the famous Arne Jacobsen Egg Chair; it was called "Tasmania Lays a Rotten Egg That Lands On Denmark: The Crown Princess Mary Years". It must have brought back horrible memories of, among other things, Daisy's bridge parties with a pouting Crown Princess Mary in the corner with a friend as hostage, abandoning the guests and making the atmosphere around the palace miserable and heavy for everyone.
Symbolically, the dancer wore ghastly black makeup and danced in her underwear and over-the-top hat, exposing her legs and lady area in front of others without shame or embarrassment in an exercise of strange, Tourette's-like contortions, as if a foreign hillbilly who crashes royal families and funerals. A "ballet", indeed! If she were miffed by this bizarre and pointed exhibition, our royal Daisy surely didn't show it! She understands all too well the strange creature that tainted Washington exactly a year ago on behalf of the Danes - after all, she lives next door back in Copenhagen! You can be sure that former DC embassy staffer and current "PR guru" Lene Balleby will hear an earful when La Daise returns to Copenhagen!
Berlingske has a photo gallery of Tuesday, Day One of the royal couple's full schedule, including a lovely lunch on the Presidential yacht, the USS Sequoia which surely reminded Daisy of the royal yacht Dannebrog. The lunch was sponsored by Vestas, the windmill company headed by Ditlev Engel, the husband of Princess Marie's first lady-in-waiting, Marianne. Relief: no sign of "wind ambassador" Professor Jock 'Half-Mast' Donaldson. Berlinske's article about the visit concentrates on the announcement that President Obama is not on the official agenda. Of course not! This is no state visit and the man has an ailing country to run. Mr. Obama is no John Howard or Julia Gillard with sudden free time available for visiting royles! Daisy and the former diplomat Henrik will be shown the respect due their positions as Head of State and consort on an official visit to the country.
CBS News has a photo gallery.
Tuesday's programme included a visit for Daisy to the National Museum of American History for a maritime exhibition and for Henrik to the Mil-Tek company for a tour. Jointly, they visited the Library of Congress to review Hans Christian Andersen volumes.
Afterwards, they visited the Kennedy Centre for a private tour and tea with Mrs. Vickie Kennedy and an evening with the Royal Danish Ballet. This Washington Post article talks about the terrific production in A Folk Tale and how this is a story of greed and false identities. I suppose this performance is Washington's response to Crown Princess Mary's visit last year! Daisy designed the costumes for the 1991 production. The article gives a wonderful anecdote about Daisy graciously sending a complimentary note to the new costume designer. Crown Princess Mary of Boganson does do complimentary notes, don't you know.
Tomorrow, Wednesday, the tour continues with a tour of Congress by Representative Steny Hoyer (whose father was Steen Høyer from Copenhagen), a meeting with Mrs. Obama at the White House (standard for visiting heads of state on non-state visits), a press conference back on the charming USS Sequoia, a lunch at the outstanding Phillips Collection sponsored by Terma, a Danish naval and airbourne security systems company that Daisy visited recently during her early summer tour of Grenå and an evening with dinner at the Danish Ambassador's residence.
Thursday the royal couple will head up to New York before Daisy returns to Denmark, and the Prince Consort travels on to California where he will celebrate his 72nd birthday and the southern California town of Solvang's 100th anniversary.