Margrethe II Hosts IOC Luncheon, Opening Ceremony

  October 2, 2009 at 2:42 am by

The 121st International Olympic Committee Congress kicked off yesterday, with a luncheon hosted by HM Queen Margrethe II and the Opening Ceremony at the elegant Copenhagen Opera House.

View the image at Belga

The day began with an early afternoon lunch at Amalienborg Palace, which was hosted by the Queen for the visiting IOC delegations from Spain, the US, Brazil and Japan. TRH Prince Henrik, Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary attended the luncheon and were on hand to greet their VIP guests. And VIP these guests were: TM King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia of Spain, First Lady Michelle Obama, HE President da Silva of Brazil and HE Yoshiro Mori, the former Prime Minister of Japan.

It was the first meeting of the American First Lady and the Danish royals, while the Spanish King and Queen greeted Queen Margrethe and her family as old friends would: with hugs and kisses (and a curstey from the Crown Princess). The Brazillian President has also met the royal family before, paying a state visit to Denmark two years ago. A group photo was taken in Christian VII’s Palace before the lunch began.

That evening, the glamour came out to play. The Congress’ Opening Ceremony was held at the Copenhagen Opera House, and was attended by the IOC members (royal members include HRH The Princess Royal and HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco), the members of the candidate city delegations and the Danish royal family.

The Crown Prince and Princess were in charge of greeting the guests upon their arrival to the Opera House, before a speech by IOC President Jacques Rogge and a performance by the Danish Royal Ballet and Choir officially opened the Congress. With many well-known faces in the crowd, it allowed for some high-end chats to take place. Prince Albert was seen with Mrs Obama, Brazillian soccer legend Pele spoke with the Spanish King.

Prior to the ceremony, there was some drama for HM King Constantine II of Greece. The King was standing near Mrs Obama and approached her to say hello. A US Secret Service agent immediately intercepted and physically stopped the King from going further, telling him he could not have access to the area. BT reports the King protested, and despite wearing official IOC medals and passes, the agent would not listen. A Danish PET officer came rushing over to inform the agent of his mistake and of the King’s identity. HM was then allowed to meet with Mrs Obama.

The announcement of who will host the 2016 Summer Olympic Games will take place at 18:00 Danish time today. The IOC will choose between Madrid, Chicago, Rio de Janiero and Tokyo to host.

Click here to view the 121st IOC Congress thread.

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