Summary of a long article in Billed Bladet #16, 2012.
Glade feriedage i Rom - Happy days off in Rome.
Written by our Rome correspondent Annelise Weimann.
QMII's visit to rainy Rome was supposed to have been private, as in unofficial. But it really was semi-official, because President Napolitano invited QMII to a concert at the presidential palace, Quirinale from the 1500's.
It's of course common curtesy that a visiting head of state, even on a somewhat private visit, drops by to say hello to the head of state of the land that is visited. - But this went beyond that.
QMII had a chat with the President and later met his wife, Clio Napolitano before it was time for a concert. A couple of hundred guests attended the concert, which was also a celebration of Denmark currently holding the chairmanship in EU. The jazz musicians Palle Mikkelborg and Chris Minh Doky entertained.
There was a reception after the concert, alas, QMII hardly sampled anything she was too busy talking to the guests, so she and her LiW, the Minister of Culture, Uffe Elbæk and her chief of court, Ove Ullerup, went to a good restaurant to sample the Italian cuisine.
Apart for the exhibition, which President Napolitano wished to see, with QMII as tour guide, she was very busy enjoying the Italian capital.
One of the stops was Accademia di Danimarca, every year on the 16th April a grant is presented from Her Royal Highness Princess Margrethe's grant, but on this year QMII presented the grant herself, albeit a couple of days early.
She went to ISCR, an institute for paintings and archeology as well as the renaissance Palazzo Farnese, which nowadays is the French embassy. here she got a personal tour.
During the visit QMII was driven around in a Mazarati and the security around her was tight.
There was also a press conference, but the microphones went completely dead and unfortunately only three questions were answered before the whole thing was abandoned.
Q: The Exhibition about The Wild Svanes have been shown all over the world like Washington, Tokyo and Mexico. But it's the first time you yourself are present at the opening. Why are you present here in Rome?
QMII: "Rome is a very special city for me. I have been here many times in my life, especially in my younger days. So it was utterly irresistable for me to come back to Rome".
That led the Italian journalists to applaud enthusiastically and QMII looked slightly baffled but also a bit shy over the response.
Later on our reporter met QMII and asked a few questions.
QMII said: "It's a city I first came to together with my parents in 1955 after I had been confirmed. (*) There are still things from back then that are very clear in my memory. And then I've been here with my morfar (**), back then I went out on excavations. That was the Etruscian excavations and the first time I took part was in 1956. I was in Rome with my morfar several years in a row until 1962, or was it 63. The terrible thing is that I've hardly been here since".
Q: Why haven't you?
QMII: "You can't find time for everything. There are many other thingst to find time for as well. But now I've been in Rome for three days and it's been a lovely experience to come back here again. Here are so many memories for me of my parents. About how it was to be here both with my parents and with my morfar. There are plenty of things I remember from back then.
The palace where the exhibition takes place is however new to me, why it's a fantastic place. It isn't that terribly long ago the antigue collections moved here. (***) Yes, there is still something new happening in Rome".
Q: Are you pleased with your own exhibition here in the palace?
QMII: "I think it has become mighty neat/good/well turned out. It's presented very well".
Q: Does it mean anything to you that H.C. Andersen lived here?
QMII: "Yes, it certainly does. I think it puts both H.C. Andersen and Rome in perspective".
The presidential guards get a mentioning in the article as well. Consisting of unusually tall men. Judging from their uniforms they are heavy dragoons or perhaps chausseurs? Perhaps one of our Italian members can confirm that?
(*) Oddly enough it seems like the age for confirmation in Copenhagen is around fifteen, here in Jutland it's around the age of fourteen. Perhaps FasterB can elaborate?
(**) Maternal grandfather. I.e. King Gustav Adolph who was also very interested in archeology.
(***) So QMII must have been like a fish in the water.