What’s the deal with the Danish Queen’s golden carriage ride through Copenhagen?

What’s the deal with the Danish Queen’s golden carriage ride through Copenhagen?
The Queen rides through Copenhagen in a golden carriage on January 3rd. Photo: Ida Guldbæk Arentsen/Ritzau Scanpix
A carriage plated with 24 carat gold leaves this morning conveyed Denmark’s Queen Margrethe to her third and final New Year’s Levee at Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen.

So what's this all about?

The Queen’s golden carriage was escorted by the Guard Hussar Regiment’s (Gardehusarregimentet) horse squadron from the royal residence at Amalienborg through the centre of the Danish capital to Christiansborg, in keeping with tradition.

Escorted by who now?

The Guard Hussar Regiment’s horse squadron. The cavalry soldiers wear traditional blue and red uniforms, standing out in the January gloom as they escort the golden carriage.


Photo: Ida Guldbæk Arentsen/Ritzau Scanpix

What's a New Year's Levee when it's at home?

The custom of the Royal Palace wishing ‘Denmark’ a Happy New Year by inviting its representatives to dinner and bidding the nation a prosperous year goes back centuries. Many of the traditions included in the carriage trip seen today originated in the 1600s.

And what happens exactly?

On New Year’s Day this year, the Queen hosted a New Year Levee and ‘taffel’ (dinner) for the government, speaker of parliament and official representatives of Denmark and the palace.

Friday’s ‘New Year's Levee’ (nytårskur), to which the Queen was travelling, is for officers from the Danish military and emergency services as well as representatives from national organizations. Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary were also in attendance.

The tradition in Denmark of having royal ‘New Year Levees’ on several days – today’s was the third of three this year – has roots in the period after World War I, when the older New Year’s Day levee had to be extended due to the growing number of state institutions and organizations which had to be invited by the Palace.

So how does the Queen get home afterwards?

Following the completion of the Levee, the Queen is transported back across town in her golden carriage.

Ok, I suppose that makes sense.


Photo: Ida Guldbæk Arentsen/Ritzau Scanpix

READ ALSO: Medieval Danish Queen's cellar is one of 2019's top ten archaeological finds


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