New Year’s Speeches from Denmark and Norway

  December 31, 2017 at 8:32 pm by

Traditional New Year’s speeches from the monarchs of Denmark and Norway were released this evening, offering their respective peoples best wishes for the year to come and giving messages of moral support to the entire community.

In Denmark, Queen Margrethe II spoke of how the country has weathered economic crises by utilising the broad talents of the entire population, saying that “Denmark needs different people with their individual abilities and talents, their lines of activity” and also “ideas and inspiration from abroad” for to maintain “economic growth”.

She urged her countrymen to spend more time with the people that matter most to them, their families, recognising that families in 2017 are different to families of past generations. The Queen also urged Danes to “sometimes do something different from what we usually do. Something beyond the practical tasks of everyday life” – an activity she described as “something that is not necessary, something that there is no need for, something pointless!” to break up the monotony of work and responsibilities.

The Queen also sent special greetings to the people of Greenland and the Faroe Islands, Danes living abroad and the Danish minority in South Schleswig, as well as Denmark’s military personnel serving overseas, and the emergency services and medical staff on duty on New Year’s Eve.

The Queen ended her speech by thanking the Danish people for the “sympathy and understanding” that has been extended to Prince Henrik following the announcement he is suffering dementia.

Her full speech can be read here in English.

In Norway, King Harald V spoke on a variety of themes that define the Norwegian people: namely their sense of dugnad (helping others/volunteering), and their will to survive and achieve independence.

“We live in a time when good will is not always the most visible. We get the impression that the world is marked by conflict, turmoil and contradictions…But precisely because of this, we need to remind ourselves and each other about the great power that goes through the world, living in every human being. We meet this power in the form of people who make an effort for others…we meet it in the volunteer spirit on which our country is founded,” the King said before praising the “waffle makers, coffee makers, football coaches, visiting friends, willing hands and big hearts that we could not do without” of every Norwegian community.

The King praised the Norwegian population’s ability to adapt to different situations, specifically speaking of the recent decline in the Norwegian oil industry that left many unemployed. “People are the greatest wealth,” he said, describing his happiness and optimism in watching the “impressive power of individuals and communities to create new jobs.”

King Harald finished his speech by talking about Norway’s “strong will for survival and independence” that goes back to ancient times, and how through “several periods, we have experience foreign rule – and have had to fight for our freedom” which has taught them “to protect equality and human rights”. He urged the country to “not forget their story” for fear of “throwing away the freedoms and progress we have meticulously worked for”.

His full speech can be read here in Norwegian, and viewed here.

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