BT has an account of the first day and seems like the journalist is not impressed.
However, the article also provides a number of details.
Pinlig Saudi-situation: Mænd nægtede at give hånd til Mary - Politik | www.bt.dk
Journalists from six Danish medias accompany M&F, but they didn't see them at all yesterday. The photos and clips were made by a DK photographer and a cameraman, selected on the spur it seems.
There is also an explanation of the Saudi dress code:
About half of the Saudi women wear a Niqab, that covers everything apart from the eyes.
The rest wear a scarf (hajib).
Western women need not cover their hair, but the rest of the body must be covered. As such the female Danish press members have been issued an abaya. A long loose-fitting black dress that go from the neck to to the feet.
The Danish photographer who was allowed in, was Tariq Mikkel Khan from Ekstra Bladet and here is his account:
- Only one if four of the many men who passed by to greet the CP-couple, shook hands with the Crown Princess, while everyone shook hands with the Crown Prince.
Mary was apparently not briefed as to who would shake hands and who wouldn't. So in the beginning of the seance she put forward her hand several times, without that being returned.
Over time she became more passive and waited to see if the person put forward the hand.
"There was a long queue of Arabs who were to greet the CP-couple and after that a lavish lunch, where there were more servants than guests. Only one in four would shake hands with Mary, while the all shook hands with Frederik. She stood looking a little hesitant, when they wouldn't shake her hand"
And while we are at it, the article has a little more on women's rights:
Only a few years ago were women allowed to have their own ID-card with photo (divorcees and widows apparently only last year). Previously they were under first their father and later their husband (presumably in the ID-card). Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world where women are not allowed to drive cars. The explanation is that they must be protected against being raped, if they are forced to stop and get out of the car.
Women are not allowed to go around in public, without the permission of their husband, so-called witches are beheaded.
Executions and other forms of punishments takes place at public squares. unannounced. But when people can see something is about to happen, they are free to come closer and witness the punishment.
The Danish Foreign Minister, Kristian Jensen, explains why M&F were required to go to Saudi Arabia: "It brings more attention to have them along. And there is a tradition for them also coming along on visits to problematic countries. They have for example also been to China. Saudi Arabia has a really bad standing in regards to human rights, but we also co-operate with them in fighting Islamic State. I also believe we can influence Saudi Arabia positively by trading with them".
- Right. I still feel offended on behalf of Mary - and myself. She's an official and highly regarded representative of my country, so when she's snubbed, I'm snubbed!
I don't buy the argument about this being the local way of showing respect for Mary. I.e. by not touching her hand or look at her. That may apply locally. But Mary is a foreigner and a guest so you have to compromise.
I wouldn't touch a Muslim women on say her shoulder, as I would with a non-Muslim woman, even if I knew her pretty well. Not until it's clear it's okay. But I would expect her to shake my hand if offered. That's a compromise. If I can, why the H can't they?
Another thing, some of you may remember quite a number of years ago, that a fire broke out at a girls school in Saudi Arabia. A considerable number of girls died.
Reason: The Religious Police refused the girls to get out as they were not covered up according to the rules of public attire. So the girls died.
That caused an uproar, even in Saudi Arabia, but AFAIK no one were prosecuted.
A similar account from Ekstra Bladet: http://ekstrabladet.dk/flash/kongeli...-haand/5972446
With video. At least these men nodded to her.
With the added info, that Mary as apparently the only one has not been issued an Abbaya robe. Her VIP-status means she can dress as she pleases. - (Within reason of course).