Danish State Visit to Vietnam, Day One

  November 2, 2009 at 11:56 pm by

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HM Queen Margrethe II, accompanied by TRH the Prince Consort, Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary, was welcomed by the Vietnamese President Nguyen Minth Triet and a full guard of honour. The President’s wife, First Lady Tran Thi Kim Chi, was also on hand for the welcoming. Despite the sub-tropic climate, the Queen and the President stood under a shaded platform while the remainder of the party stood in the sunshine. It was here, during the national anthems, that Crown Princess Mary was the victim of mother nature – a gust of wind blew her hat straight of her head and into the arms of a nearby official.

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After regaining her hat, and composure, the Princess joined her family in an audience with the President and First Lady. Queen Margrethe and President Triet had much to discuss, covering a wide variety of topics from Danish-Vietnamese relations, economic issues and culture. A pressing issue was the effect climate change will have on Vietnam. Both the Queen and President highlighted this, with President Triet thanking Denmark for their recent committment to an aid package worth $US40 million to assist Vietnam with climate change. Queen Margrethe also extended an invitation to the President to visit Denmark in the future.

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From there, it was on to two seperate wreath laying ceremonies. The first was at the Monument for National Heroes and Martyrs, where Vietnamese soldiers assisted in the laying of the wreath for the royals. The second ceremony was at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum.

While Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik met with Nguyen Phu Trong, the President of the Vietnamese National Assembly, the Crown Prince Couple paid a visit to the Bang and Olufsen store in Hanoi where Crown Prince Frederik helped to launch a new product line called BeoVision 10 to the Asian market. In the early afternoon, Frederik headed off to officially open the new brewery of the Hanoi Beer Company. The Prince was then treated to a tour of the building, followed by a tasting (or two) of the Company’s finest.

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Queen Margrethe and Crown Princess Mary had their first double-date of the state visit in the afternoon, visiting the My Anh Flag Factory where they received a tour of the factory. The factory workers were busying producing Danish flags at the time of the visit. The Queen clearly enjoyed her time with her daughter-in-law, including her in the focus of the tour and allowing her to walk alongside her.

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The afternoon concluded with the Crown Prince attending the first of several climate change-related events by visiting the Hanoi Climate Change Institute. The Queen and Prince Henrik meanwhile attended a meeting with the General-Secretary for Vietnam’s Communist Party, Nong Duc Manh. During the meeting, bilateral relations was the main focus point, and General-Secretary Manh expressed his satisfaction at their continuing budding relationship between the two nations, especially in the areas of trade, culture, tourism and environmental protection. He also described the current state visit as “a milestone in bilateral relations.”

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President Triet hosted a state banquet in the evening, which was attended be senior political officials and the Royal Family. A mixture of dress-codes created some confusion amongst royal-watchers, with HM wearing a tiara while Crown Princess Mary did not. The men wearing suits and not evening suits also added to the confusion.

Day two of the state visit begins tomorrow, November 3rd, with seminars to be attended by the two Princes and cultural events to be attended by the Queen and Crown Princess. A return banquet will take place in the evening. Read more about the state visit here.

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