Summary of article in Billed Bladet #47, 2018.
Written by Marianne Singer.
During the speech Mary gave after being presented with the award, she explained how she worked on the speech and what went through her mind up to the speech.
Before the big day Mary had been made aware that it was expected she would give a speech at the gala. And she thought: "Naturally." And at the same time she thought: "Panic!!"
Recovering from this initial feeling she felt very strongly she wanted to tell her husband, the guests and the Danes.
So she pondered for a long time and wrote down the ideas that went through her mind, good and bad.
"I wanted to talk to mt husband, to touch him. To tell him what he is to me. And I wanted to invite everybody. To take them with us on the journey that has been ours. It had to be personal without being too private.
And it's not easy to balance being both open and and honest so that what you say is interesting and can be felt while at the same time stick to formality. The speech wasn't only to my husband, it was also to the future king of Denmark. It wasn't just to be held in our home, it was to be held in the Great Hall at Christiansborg Palace, in front of a hall full of people and a nation looking on."
So from time to time she tested part of the speech on people near to her in order to see whether the balance between humor and being solemn was there. "I would like to combine the frank with the serious and the humorous, because that's how we are as a couple."
The humor was daunting in particular. Because what if it flopped? What if there was silence after the speech rather than laughter? Or worse, it had gone too far?
"So I rehearsed many times. I knew that I would be really nervous when the time came to step up on the rostrum. And I can reveal that this is the only time I have had to break the etiquette and excuse myself during dinner in order to wash my hands."
The challenge/aim was that her nervousness wouldn't get in the way of what she wanted to tell and how she wanted to tell it. In that way the speech became hers, the words, the intonations, the rhythm.
This was actually her first official speech to her husband.
"I'm married to a very versatile husband and in that lay a significant part of my inspiration. I wished to lift the veil for the facets of his, his many disguises.
That would have meant a very long speech, so I had to pick. I opened the speech with just that dilemma. All the things I would like to say, all the things I can say, all the things I can't say and all the things there is room to say. That's how I started the speech and then I ended with the words from a beautiful song, which is one my husband is very fond of. - Of all the things she said, she said... - In that text was the essence of what was the very most important thing for me to say; that the time, the place and the love is for real."
- Let's have a look at the speech, with English subtitles. Just click on the subtitles option in the lower right of the video.