Summary of article in Billed Bladet #38, 2018.
Written by Ulrik Ulriksen.
As you know Mary had to step in for her husband and go to Finland on a commerce visit.
The visit was divided into two parts: The capital Helsinki, with the focus on city-development using environmentally friendly solutions and implementing them into the future city-planning.
The second part took place in Turko, with particular focus on the maritime industry there. Finland build among other things oil rigs and cruise ships, some of them are very big!
Mary's job here was to attract attention and be a living "connector" between Finnish and Danish companies. - It's simply taken more serious when a royal tags along or when a royal is present when cementing the deals. Not least because the heavy brass from the various businesses invariably show up when there is a royal around. Mary's presence is also a quiet little stamp of approval, or rather reliability in regards to the business deal.
At the end of the second day our reporter caught up with Mary, who said: "I think it's been a really good visit. It has been exciting and inspiring and it's always a great pleasure to see what Danish businesses have to offer worldwide and to see the innovative and new-thinking solution which the world needs. It's also a joy to experience that we work together with others who are equally-minded and who have the common goal to meet some of the challenges the world is exposed to.
It's a longer story we mark with this visit. Not only the strong bilateral relations we have with Finland but also the 100 years for the diplomatic relations between our two countries. (*) I think there have been many comparisons in regards to our values, with our ways of life and also in regards to our thoughts about the future and that creates a really good synergy for creating an even better and stronger platform for a co-operation. It's also been nice and amusing to talk about what we have in common, but also about what separates us."
The visit started in Helsinki where Mary showed up in a design by the Finnish design-business Andiata, a "rose-cloud suit" to be correct.
After be presented with flowers and welcomed at the city hall and subjected to making a dessert, which Mary freely admits is not her strong point, it was time a for a gala dinner in the evening, at Finlandia Hall.
Here Mary gave the main speech, including bits of Finnish. (Which can be pretty daunting when you first read it!)
"Distinguished ministers, my ladies and gentlemen. Good evening. Hyvää iltaa.
What a day we've had and the schedule for tomorrow will no doubt be just as eventful. First I will from my husband convey the warmest greetings and express his regret that he had to send me in his stead - no, he didn't actually put it like that. Unfortunately he cannot be here, but fortunately he is fine. I know that he had looked forward to this important visit. So, here I am. Amusingly this is my first visit to Finland and I can say that it's a big pleasure to be here and experience the incredible Finnish hospitality and the strong Nordic friendship.
I will ask you to raise the glasses and toast with me for the Finnish-Danish friendship. Kippis!"
The next day it was off to Turko, where Mary among other things visited the Meyer shipyard and here she placed a memorial plate in the pavement in front of the museum Forum Marinum, among other plates laid there by prominent guests.
Controlling 10 % of the worlds maritime shipping Danish businesses have considerable interests in shipyards, especially if they are pretty much located in our backyard.
But see this weeks issue of BB here: https://app.box.com/s/dqpj5l59itikwc8esd40ywyox3hyg7r4
(*) As you may recall Finland belonged to tzarist Russia until the Russian Revolution and it became independent after a short civil war in 1918.