Thanks for the many pics.
Based on a number of articles in Billed Badet #21 & 22.
All written by Ken Richter, in his usual matter of fact way.
- There is a set pattern when the Regent couple arrive at a town during their summer cruises.
Dannebrog enter the harbour, with the Regent Couple standing outside the bridge waving to people on land on on the many boat escorting Dannebrog, manned by elderly and middleaged gentlemen, who usually have adorned themselves with a fake captains cap and calling themselves "skipper" or "captain", almost feeling like colleagues to the captain of Dannebrog.
The clock is always
10.00 when Dannebrog moor, no matter what your watch may tell you.
In land everything is ready. The city council is lined up at the end of the red carpet and the mayor is wearing his chain.
The local Home Guard company is lined up with the colours. The local marchuin band is playing. The scouts are out. The local kindergardens have been mobilized and issued flags and the OAP's from retirement homes have been wheeled out on the occasion.
The police are wearing white caps, instead of the usual baseball caps. - Yes, it's a grand sight to behold.
The landing is lowered, a sailor is stationed at the bottom of the landing with a drawn cutlass and then, there they are. The Regent Couple!
They are recieved by the mayor who introduce them to the city council. QMII and PH are waving their arms off and QMII often greet some of the elderly among the onlookers.
Then the mayor escort the Reget Couple to the waiting carriage, which will drive to the townhall escorted by Guards Hussars.
At the townhall there are a couple of speeches a presentation of gifts to the Regent Couple and a little bite, then it's off to work.
Did you think the show at the harbour was over? No, no. When the dignitaries and the Regent Couple are gone, the royal Dachshunds are taken ashore and they usually deliver on the spot, to the delight of the onlookers.
In the evening there is a reception onboard Dannebrog, for the local dignitaries and it means a lot, who is invited and who is not!
At 22.00 Danneborg sails, hopefully without some of the silverutensils having been pinched. - That happened in grenaa sixteen years ago. A promt police invstigation revealed that a member of the city council had "borrowed" three spoons. That was the end of that political career...
With this background info, let's look at the actual visits.
Grenaa: They visited a designer of furnitures and QMII tried out an office chair. (It looks practical and comfy, I'm a bit envious). They visited the Manor turned into a museum, Gammel Estrup, where some of the rooms have recently been renovated and brought back to how they looked 300 years ago. Something that interested QMII. - That project was under the wings of Joachim. They visited Dronningens Holiday Resort. They visited Baunhøj Mill, which has been rebuild after a fire. That mill is hallmark for the town. And they visited the business Datagraf, where QMII was shown how easy it is to manipulate pictures nowadays, leading her to exclaim with a smile: "You are full of mischief".
The visit followed a similar pattern in the towns of Hadsund, Brønderslev and Horsens. With Prince Henrik showing that he is pretty good at breaking the ice and get people to relax. One of the visits were to Horsens State Prison, now a museum. Here PH wielded the executioners axe, last used in 1892. (*)
Anholt: A small island in the middle of the sea between jutland and Sweden. Population: 160, including 15 school children. A scenic and idyllic island with a unique nature, a place where the Regent Couple have come often, not least PH. The weather was pretty rough and as Dannebrog cannot enter the small harbour, it was planned that the Regent Couple would sail in the barge (prudently escorted by another boat from the navy). Alternatively they would be flown by helicopter to the island. But the Regent Couple have strong sea legs and chose the barge. They went for the usual tour, including ascending the 42 meter tall lighthouse, to have a look at the local seals who frolic in that area. (**)
(*) People were usually beheaded in DK at public executions. Often by a drunk excutioner, leading to several scandals. Capital punishment in peace time was abolished in the early 1930's and in times of war in the 70's or 80's.
There is a famous and in every way a very fascinating letter from an executioner to the king in the national archives.
It's actually a letter of complaint from an official executioner complaining about how some of the local courts used cheap local labour to perform executions and those bungling amateurs made a mess of it all, it really went against his sense of professionalism! He then went on to list how he was able to behead and hang people in neat professional way, how he could flogg people competently, could perform amputations, could quarter executed criminals and how he was well versed in using instruments of torture. - Now would His Majesty please grant him exclusive rights to act as the public executioner in all such matters in this part of the country?
I believe even back then that this letter caused some raised eyebrows! I don't know about any reply.
I think this must have taken place after Frederik III became king in the mid 1600's as there is no mentioning of his skills in burning witches. Frederik III basically put an end to burning witches in DK as well as becoming the first absolute Monarch.
My guess is that our executioner here was an ex-mercenary, probably around 1700. He would have been hardened in the wars about that time, probably risen to the rank of profoss, a kind of senior NCO. Presumably put in charge of executions and other punishments and he would have gained plenty of experience and no doubt ending up feeling a certain pride in how good he was.
Now, contrary to popular belief, executions were not that common in DK in the 16 and 1700's. In peace time it was only the king who could confirm a death sentence. As such an executioner had plenty of other jobs when it came to punishing convicted criminals. Long prison sentences were uncommon, physical punishment being much more common. Like whipping naked whores out of a town. (Especially if they forgot to pay for "protection"). And sometimes torture was used, but frowed upon in the latter half of the 1700's in particular. But a good executioner should at least be able to use instruments of torture.
(**) One of the lighthouses was the centre of a minor battle during the Napoleonic wars. Anholt had been occupied by the British after they bombarded Copenhagen in 1807, leading Denmark to become Napoleon's last ally by 1814. Anyway, it was attempted to take back Anholt and a force was landed there, but the assault was repulsed with heavy losses, as the lighthouse was fortified.