I have now seen the programme where QMII talked mainly about her faith and it was as can be expected well worth watching. After all, when QMII opens her mouth usually something interesting comes out.
The programme was made on the occasion of Luther starting a wave of reformations 500 years ago. In 1536 the Reformation came to DK - and was surprisingly peaceful here. Apart from one order, all monks and nuns were allowed to stay in their abbeys and cloisters until the last one died. Some cloisters were amalgamated for practical reasons but otherwise no persecution and no vandalism took place. I've written about that before and that's outside the scope of this post.
Back to QMII.
You can watch the programme here: https://www.dr.dk/tv/se/dronningens-...ens-roede-trad
And I will encourage those interested to do so, while keeping an eye on this post. because QMII's facial expressions is half the show.
I can't provide a translation of what she says, that would take at least four hours! What I have done instead is to give the film-segments a headline, so to speak and then provide a brief summary of QMII's comments to the clips.
Here we go.
We start at 00:55 after the introduction. What does the Lutheran church mean to QMII?
- She admits she wasn't much of a churchgoer. But she eventually discovered that there was so much to gain by going to church.
01:47. As Queen of DK and head of the church, she's actually the only one in DK who does not have a right to choose her religion. A freedom Luther advocated.
- She finds it wonderful that she doesn't have to look for a version of religion that suits her better than others. Instead she has to work from where she is and that's it. And then she tries to do her best within those frames and it's actually liberating not to have that concern.
- Her parents were regular churchgoers, her father more than her mother. During her childhood she and her sisters were sometimes told: "It really is time for you, to come with us to church". Okay then. But it didn't mean much to her back then. Nor at her confirmation. She thought: Christianity that's sort of for older people and it's a bit over the top. A bit gross actually and she didn't want that!
But she discovered it wasn't so. You are not supposed to disconnect your brain when going to church. On the contrary. There is plenty to chew on, also intellectually.
1953. Youth. Heir. Marriage.
- She clearly remembers her wedding day.
But could she concentrate on God in that situation? Or were her thoughts mostly on love?
She wasn't particularly religious at that point in her life. When she had become an adult and didn't tag along with her parents anymore, she didn't go much to church at all. It was more a formality for her back then.
J&M's wedding. QMII going to Luther's church to unveil the antependium she had created for the church.
She was surprised but very moved when being asked to create the antependium.
Red was chosen because that's the color they use during Whitsunday and festive occasions. That symbolizes the Holy Spirit. The flames suits the passion of Luther. The rose was Luther's personal symbol.
The Danish Reformation was an adoption of Luther's version and has been embraced to such an extent that's it not possible to distinguish it from Danish culture in general. Not least because DK had some excellent poets who wrote a number of brilliant psalms that are used to this day.
She doesn't have favorite psalms as such, but she always sings along, although not very well.
She likes the idea of belonging to a parish. Where you know your church, your priest and fellow churchgoers. In Copenhagen she usually go to the nearest church. Garnisons Kirke. But also the Naval Church, which means so much to her, her family and father.
QMII prefer a service to take place they way it usually is done. The sermon can be different, sometimes good, sometimes less good. But even if the sermon is less than interesting you can still enjoy a service or simply enjoy the church.
She can't help viewing a church with her archeological eye.
Her beloved father.
Frederik IX was a very modern father! He not only pushed the pram but also changed diapers, something that men usually had no clue about until some three decades later.
This is the first time for many years she has seen the whole speech she gave on that day.
This was a really significant day for her. This is it. Now it's for real.
It was an icy day and shortly after 1968, yet so many thousands turned up. "You gotta be kidding!" She thought.
She felt this is it, but she won't be alone. Not just because of the public support. "There was more than that. This I couldn't do on my own. But I wasn't to be on my own". (19:25)
Did she find faith that day?
Dunno, that's a fancy way to put it. She discovered that the faith was an essential part of her and that she could not live without it.
The funeral was a strong experience for her. Especially the tolling cathedral bells, which filled the air.
The death of her father woke her up spiritually speaking.
She rode on a wave, realizing that she was to fulfill her task, but not fulfilling it alone.
When she was in her early 30's she met and had a lengthy discussion with a number of theologians. It was a discussion, sometimes very funny discussion, on a certain intellectual level about church, Christianity and service. But also in a levelheaded way, which she very much appreciated. Because with her partly scientific background (having studied archeology on an advanced level) she cannot help looking at Christianity in a analytical, investigating way.
To her it fits the Lutheran way of thinking. I.e. that you are
to use your brain, also in church.
So is it an intellectual joy for her?
It is, but you are also to have your feelings, it's not one or the other. You are to use your brain and heart.
It was very much Queen Ingrid who inspired QMII to make chasubles.
Traditionally the four seasons each have their own chasuble. In different colors. It started with a green chasuble for Fredensborg Palace Church and then it caught on.
Initially she was a bit hesitant to use bright colors for the chasubles. (27:10) "And that simply isn't my style! Not at all." A service is also a festive occasion with colors.
Day to day is fine, but it has to be distinguished from the everyday life. So colorful chasubles helps make a service a festive occasion.
This time she had more of an overview to ponder the religious part of the ceremony.
But despite being married in the church, many get divorced?
True, but a church wedding isn't mortar. So that people can't get unstuck. The church blessing isn't a another spice to put in the dish called marriage. It something to work from.
Queen Ingrid's funeral.
How has faith helped her grieving?
have lost one dear to us, and we
are sad about that, but that person is safe. Her parents lived and fulfilled a long life and for that there is only to be grateful. But of course you are sad. But if you are so fortunate to have your faith you know they are in good hands.
Her proverb: With the help of God, the love of the people, the strength of Denmark.
The proverb was decided during the days her father was dying and it is derived from the proverbs of three kings.
QMII has once said that no one is ready to bow out, because you always want to turn yet another leaf in the book. Is that still her opinion?
Oh yes, she still thinks she's only middle-aged even though she's an "elderly wife".
Few people plan their own funeral, but she has to.
That's pretty natural to her and (37:47) "because one can't help interfere in everything, right?"
It's a good thing to plan ahead so that you don't have to reinvent the wheel each time.
You can't just do it in the spur of the moment, after all "you don't know the hour."
How was it to see your grandchild being baptized?
It was a lovely occasion. They stood there with their firstborn.
Baptism is a pretty serious affair, you agree to quite a lot of things. And it was paramount in Luther's teachings. What do you think you should consider before a baptism?
She has never considered that they shouldn't be baptized. She believe it's very important to christen your children when they are babies. They can't consent to anything but you can't consent to life either. We are being born without being asked. And we need someone to take care of us. Beyond what our parents, family and close friends can do for us. And that's the purpose of the christening. The child becomes a part of something that is much bigger and which can last all the way. And it's a lovely occasion.
Does she doubt?
Of course you do. You are not altogether convinced about everything 24/7/365. But there is still the underlying feeling that you are not alone. And being in doubt if totally legitimate.
She always end her New Year speeches with: God preserve/save Denmark.
That has been a tradition since the first new year speeches were broadcast on the wireless.
- I hope this summary made sense.