Summary of article in Billed Bladet #44, 2014.
Written by Annelise Weimann.
The Regent Couple (RC) last visited Ex-Jugoslavia in 1977, now things have changed and they touched down in the Croation capital of Zagrab.
The official reception was a bit different this time though. The honor guards was waiting in a large park outside the presidential palace and when QMII inspected the guard, she stopped (as always) in front of the colours and let out a loud: "Pozdrav Vojuici = Hey soldiers" and that's the way you address the guard in Croatia.
Then it was time for the official reception inside the palace, and a little photo-op, before they exchanged orders. PH did not get an order though, he had already recieved one years ago at another occasion.
But QMII got the Grand Order of the King, named after King Tomislav who became king in 925. (*) And in return the Croatian President, Ivo Josipovic, recieved the Order of the Elephant and the first lady, the Grand Cross of the Order of Dannebrog.
The RC did not stay in the presidential palace during their visit but at a nearby hotel. But the palace has a collection of contemporary Croatian art that caught the interest of QMII.
With preliminary niceties done with at was time to visit the Marcus Church from the 1300's.
The CP and the presidential couple apparantly developed an instant raport because the mood was light and cheerful.
It's the details that are interesting at such a state visit, and that includes the exchange of gifts.
The RC got books about Croatia, a painting and two bottles of Croatian wine. (**) In return the presidential couple recieved two signed photos, PH's three collections of poems, a book about the RC's art exhibition back in DK and ceramics bull and a silver brooch for the First Lady.
The galadinner in the evening of the first day was a bit informal, there were only 62 guests, so the mood was again pretty light and QMII in particular had a long chat with the First Lady, Tatja Josipovic. QMII wore a dress by Birgitte Thaulow and her hair had been done by her hairdresser, Poul Nejlund.
In contrast the RC gave a returndinner the next day at their hotel, with 180 guests, with various entertainment. The reason for the larger turnout of guests was because Danish businessmen were invited too, the visit wasn't just for fun...
The visit was the usual mix of culture and sightseeing.
Visiting a theatre show for children.
But also visiting a Carlsberg brewery in the town of Koprivinicia. Alas the noise was too much for QMII, she left after a few minutes because she simply couldn't hear anything. (She uses a hearing aide).
Then it was of to the (very scenic) town of Split for a little reunion. The major os Split had also greeted QMII when she visited in 1977, back then he was a Communist Pioneer (youth organisation) and he, Igor Srhoj, showed QMII a photo of the episode, which QMII found amusing: "Even though I can't recall the episode off hand, it's really funny to see the photo and say hello to you".
The RC were driven around in the old town in golf cars adorned with flowers. Very practical.
But as usual at statevisits there is also a treat for QMII. She has as you know a burning interest for archaeology so she taken to visit the digs at the ancient town of Salona, outside Split. - Not really a town, in ancient times it was major city of some 60.000 people back in around 200. (IIRC that part of Croatia was a part of the Roman empire at that time. Located close to modern day Romania which was very rich back then and as such was conquered by the Romans).
QMII, smiling broadly, was shown around by a Danish archaelogist who is working on the site.
(*) Are there anyone who could become king of Croatia today?
(**) Slivowitcha would be better! I know from firsthand experience how great Croatian liqour is.