Danish State Visit to Vietnam, Pre-Visit Activities

  November 1, 2009 at 10:21 pm by

The Danish State Visit to Vietnam began in a semi-official capacity this afternoon local time, with HM Queen Margrethe II and the Royal Family spending the day in Hanoi, the Vietnamese capital.

View the image at VnExpress

Queen Margrethe and HRH Prince Henrik, the Prince Consort, arrived in Vietnam earlier in the day and were welcomed at the Noi Bai National Airport with a guard of honour. This was followed by the first of several cycle tours in traditional rickshaws through Hanoi. The couple were joined by TRH Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary for a visit to the Prince Consort’s childhood home, which lies on Phan Dinh Phung.

The de Laborde de Monpezat family bought the house in 1928, and lived in Vietnam for five years before returning to France (Henrik later returned to Vietnam in the early 1950s to attend secondary school). HRH was very excited to return to the house and show his family where he grew up. One particular spot was a pagoda located on the property which was a favourite hunt of Henrik’s. “I am very happy to show both Hanoi and the house [to my family],” Prince Henrik told Danish media.

View the image at Belga

After the visit to the house, Henrik and Frederik visited St Joseph’s Cathedral, where they were met by Father Luong. The purpose of the visit was for Prince Henrik to erect a plaque in honour of his paternal grandfather, Henri de Laborde de Monpezat,who was a prominent member of the Colonial Supreme Council in Hanoi and an active entrepreneur (the family had several business holdings in Vietnam, many of which disappeared during the war). The grave of Prince Henrik’s grandfather, who died in 1929, also went missing during the war, and the Prince Consort wanted a way to commemorate him – thus the plaque. Crown Prince Frederik assisted his father in installing the plaque, and said it was a “great experience to witness his father’s past.” A video of the day’s events can be viewed here at TV2.

In the evening, a reception was hosted by the Danish Ambassador to Vietnam, Peter Lysholt Hansen, at his residence in Hanoi. The Ambassador’s wife (who is Vietnamese), Ha Thi Bich Lien, and the couple’s six-year-old son Khoi also attended the reception. Khoi was even on hand to present the Queen and Crown Princess with bouquets upon their arrival.

The state visit begins officially tomorrow, with the official welcoming ceremony by President Nguyen Minth Triet at the Presidential Palace. The visit runs until November 6th. View the TRF thread for the state visit here.

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