Queen Margrethe‘s visit to Greenland: 0ctober 8 - 12, 2021

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Imperial Majesty
Apr 25, 2015
"Her Majesty the Queen will pay an official visit to Greenland from 24 July to 5 August 2021.

The trip begins in East Greenland with a visit to Tasiilaq. Then the trip goes to North Greenland with visits to Station Nord, Pituffik and in Qaanaaq. The last part of the trip takes place in West Greenland with visits to Ilulissat, Nuuk, Qaqortoq and Narsaq."

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The visit to Greenland has been postponed to a later date.

Greenland has been affected by several outbreaks of COVID-19 during the last weeks, so there are new travel restrictions.

The chairman of the Greenlandic Government has requested that the visit should be postponed, Queen Margrethe expressed understanding and is said to look forward to the visit at a later (yet unknown) date:

** kongehuset announcement **
The best solution IMO.

Apart from the risk of infection, there are too many logistical problems without Dannebrog.
Such a shame but understandable.
Maybe in the next visit she can take a grandchild with her like she has been saying ��
Such a shame but understandable.
Maybe in the next visit she can take a grandchild with her like she has been saying ��

Yes, but I think that would be unlikely.

I think she was mainly thinking about Christian and Isabella, but the visit having been postponed I don't believe it will take place until August at the earliest, perhaps September. And schools start again about a week into August.

I also think it will be unlikely any of the grandchildren will accompany QMII on a longer journey.
I think it would be much more likely that she should be joined by a grandchild or two on a visit to a town in Denmark, while during the summer cruise. And that would more than likely be Christian.
Alas, not aboard Dannebrog.

The conscripts will be send home shortly and the ship will return to her base at naval station Frederikshavn, for refit and overhaul and preparation for next years batch of conscripts (some will have waited up to three years to serve aboard Dannebrog. It's a popular posting!)
Sadly a very condensed trip compared to the 13-day visit that was scheduled over the summer. Also condensed in terms of what we'll see from it as her visit to the north remains private (but seems to have been moved from the beginning to the end of her trip – with the middle day presumably being reserved for transport to the north) and that her visit to the south has been cut entirely from the programme.
Actually there is right now a murderer at large in Ilulissat.

The town has a population of some 4.000 and as such is a major town in Greenland. With a small handful of additional hamlets nearby. And nearby in Greenland is pretty far! Even on a bike! (*)
About a week ago human remains were found in the local combustion plant. They turned out be parts of what is likely a man, but no one locally appears to be missing, so right now the police are looking all over the place for anyone who hasn't been seen lately.
That means half the police force in Greenland is right now in Ilulissiat, with additional experts and forensic specialists having been flown in from Denmark.
It will be interesting to see if they solve the mystery while QMII is around.

Murders are not uncommon in Greenland, usually as a result of some altercation in connection with alcohol.
Alcoholism with the social issues that comes with that is a really serious problem in Greenland! So much so that Danish politicians have openly talked about taking over responsibility for social affairs from the Greenlandic government. Not least because so many children, in various ways, are victims
of these social issues. Everything from neglect to abuse.
But such a murder that on the face of it requires some planning above what is normal for an alcoholic, is sensational in Greenland.

(*) DK idiom for very far.
Not to make light of something so disturbingly serious, but as a fictional scenario this would be just about perfect for bringing in HM QMII to crack the case.
Well, perhaps she did...

Friday afternoon several persons were arrested in connection with the murder. The arrests took place in the town of Ilulissat. A forensic team is going through the house on the address.

And as if this wasn't enough drama, QMII and her entourage went out on Ilulissat Fjord this afternoon to go whale-sighting. In another boat went the press corps.
But on the way back the ice had closed in and the boats had difficulty getting through the ice. They had to navigate among what channels spontaneously formed in the floating ice back to the town.
There was no danger as such, but a risk that they might have gotten stuck in the ice for some time.

They did get to see two humpback whales BTW.
So much for being descended from King Canute! :cool:

Although apparently another interpretation of trying to order the sea was to prove exactly what he couldn't do. I'm sure everyone (not least the Greenlanders) is relieved that the press, the entourage, and HM herself did not get stuck fast.
That's in fact the version taught here in DK.

King Knud, as we call him, got so fed up with his courtiers praising him constantly and talking about nothing being impossible for him, that he one day ordered the court down to the sea. Sat on a chair as the tide came in, and then commanded the water to move back. The tide came in nevertheless and the king used that example to point out that he wasn't omnipotent.
Being a Christian King that is also a favorite story by the church here.

While no doubt ensuring murder mysteries are wrapped up, QMII continues her visit in Ilulissat today Saturday:

That includes visiting a fjord center, where you can study things that seems to encapsulated in ice. That is, if the sun allows it...

We also see the humpback whales who most kindly showed up, so that QMII could be photographed spotting them. - That was of course before the boat had a few problems with ice packing at the bottom of the fjord.

A very nice BB video of QMII talking about visiting the polar-explorer Knud Rasmussen's house.
Here she also met a couple from Quaanaq, where Frederik stayed for a period during the Sirius 2000 expedition. They remember him well, and she in return told them it had been an experience of a lifetime - and added something "I'm terribly proud of myself" (at 1.40)
After that she was asked about the ice closing in on the boats. (I seem to begin to read through the lines that the esteemed members of the press aboard the smaller (police-boat) were a little bit worried.) QMII wasn't the slightest bit perturbed. A bit of of ice and it moves around and packs up, big deal - we saw the whales. And she felt lucky having seen the whales. - No wonder, after all this might after all be her last trip to Greenland.

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Those are nice words from the Queen about Frederik. I'm sure she sees how much Greenland means to him. And that he is so fondly remembered must be nice.
Some pics from Jyllands Posten of the second day: https://jyllands-posten.dk/indland/...-dronningen-paa-jubilaeumsbesoeg-i-groenland/

QMII is today in the capital of Nuuk.
Here she will commemorate the 100 the anniversary of the first DRF visit to Greenland, that at the time was predominantly and hunter-gatherer society, albeit deeply Christian. With a population of 10-15.000 at the most.
She is also attending the inauguration of the new bishop of Greenland. That takes place in Hans Egede Church in Nuuk.

Now Hans Egede is the man who is directly responsible for Greenland being Christian, deeply Christian in fact and I'd say de facto 100 % Lutheran.
He was Danish-Norwegian and he and his sons went to Greenland around the mid 1700's to spread Christianity there - and with remarkable success!
At the time Greenland was very isolated. The odd whale hunters came up there and so did the occasional ship collecting fur and Narwhal tusks and that was pretty much the only European contact the Greenlanders had. Until it was decided in Copenhagen that now we really needed to take official control of Greenland, with a proper administration and that included Christening the natives. (*)
So off Hans Egede went with his sons and they stayed there for many years. In line with most of the most successful missionaries they learned the language and learned about the culture and how to live and indeed survive in Greenland. He also had the Bible translated to Greenlandic (two of his sons were linguists) so the missionary work took place in Greenlandic rather than Danish or Norwegian. Ironically that helped preserving the Greenlandic language from being replaced with Danish, because the basic community sang psalms in Greenlandic and the priests had to learn Greenlandic in order to tell the Gospel.
But back to Hans Egede, his missionary work replaced the shamanistic religion, but did not replace the culture, which with some modification absorbed Christianity. And in a world where life is very much on the edge, Christianity grew very strong and that's how it is today. Christianity is much stronger than in Denmark.

However, to a good deal of the Greenlanders Hans Egede is also a symbol of Danish colonialism. Because Danish control, genuine control that is, only returned to Greenland at the time Hans Egede went there. And even as late as the 1930's there was a dispute in the League of Nations between DK and Norway about control over North-East Greenland.
I don't think you can call Greenland a colony as such, it never produced a surplus and was never settled by many Danes or exploited for real. It was more a kind of protectorate that eventually got home rule.
The most damaging time for Greenland, in regards to it's culture and Danish dominance was during the 50's and 60's, and done with the best intentions.
Now, Greenland really needed to enter the 20th century! That included more or less removing children by force, taking them to Denmark where they were to be given a modern education enabling them to become the future businessmen and administrators in Greenland - that unsurprisingly failed miserably! The children didn't embrace Danish culture and the modern world, they missed their parents and family terribly. The poor critters.
- The road to Hell is paved with good intentions...

In Greenland itself the transition from a hunter-gatherer society or a more urbanized modern society caused a lot of problems as well. Done within a generation it was a culture revolution that could easily match the one in China at the same time - with similar calamities. A lot of the huge social problems in Greenland today stems from that period, because social issues tend to be passed on from parent to child...

Anyway, to many Greenlanders Hans Egede is seen as the symbol of the - what shall we call it - oppression of the traditional Greenlandic lifestyle. And not least of Danish dominance.
To many, especially young, Greenlanders, it s fashionable to seek their roots. That includes traditional tattoos, seeking up traditional cultural customs and wanting independence.
Of course the Greenland they seek doesn't exist anymore. Greenland is Internet and mobile phones, with a talent-drain to Denmark in particular and mixed genes. Quite a few Greenlanders physically resemble Danes more than Greenlanders.

In contrast we have those Greenlanders who see Hans Egede as the founder of Greenland as a genuine nation and as the one who introduced Christianity, which means something there.
Many Greenlanders have no desire to part with Denmark, knowing perfectly well that USA and China are ready to take over...
They also realize that the population in Greenland is way below critical (**) for a truly independent nation to work. There are simply not enough educated Greenlanders around for the multitude of tasks needed to run a state and to build up and maintain an independent economy - even if that includes a massive influx of foreign workers. Which would also become a problem...

The public sentiment in Denmark is very unsentimental: If Greenland want independence they can have it. But we, the Danes, won't pay for it.
The same thing applies to the Faeroe Islands. They were told very clearly that DK would help support their independence financially for four years, then they were on their own.

(*) The last Norse colonists in Greenland left or died no later that during the 1300's. Killed off or replaced by the Greenlanders who migrated in from the north, eventually taking over the whole island, and eradicating the very few indigenous groups who were already there.
From memory: The Greenlanders belongs to a migration group who came in from Siberia around 2.000 years ago. They were knonw to be more aggressive than the tribes they encountered on their way across northern Canada, which they marched across in a little as 1.000 years, before reaching Greenland, just around the year 1000. About the same time that the Nordic settlers arrived in the south.
That was during a warm spell, but the climate turned colder, benefiting the extremely well-adapted Greenlanders, but at the disadvantage of the Nordic settlers. There were reports of skirmishes, but no reinforcements came in from Scandinavia, where the three main countries there were busy establishing themselves as states and kingdoms.
So apart from the odd whaler and fur-traders there were no Europeans in Greenland between 1350 or so and 1725 or so.
But nominally Norway, and that really means Denmark claimed sovereignty over Greenland during these centuries.

(**) I read an estimation once saying that the critical level for an independent state to function is around 250.000 people. Most being at least reasonably well educated.
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Delene please.
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I stand corrected and humbled. :D

However, considering that some 20 % of the inhabitants on Greenland consists of non-Greenlanders, the church may primarily serve these 20 % I surmise.


Update on the murder mystery in Ilulissat.

Saturday, while QMII was there, three persons were arrested, one being a woman.
Upon being presented before a judge (that must happen within 24 hours) one was released without charge, while a man and a woman was jailed, pending investigations.
Today the woman was released.
The police are no certain of the identity of the victim, even though a formal positive identification is still being worked on based on the DNA from three bodyparts of man.
His family has been notified.

- So that has pretty much been solved.
A perpetrator is found in 90+ % of Danish murder cases. In Greenland it's 100 %. - It's difficult to get away with serious crime in small communities.

That is... If a death is classified as being a murder. Especially beforehand.
If you walk into and older cemetery and look at the tombstones, it's fascinating - and chilling - to think how many murder victims are buried there. Classified as a natural death.
An old member of the family suffocated with a pillow - either for the inheritance or because they suffered from Alzheimer or something similar.
A drunk abusive husband being poisoned or who "fell" and drowned in a bog or a creek...


Back to Greenland and QMII who dodged a question about those Greenlanders who want independence, by saying that she didn't believe they would be particularly interested in talking to her and anyway, that was something she would confidently leave to the politicians.
However, considering that some 20 % of the inhabitants on Greenland consists of non-Greenlanders, the church may primarily serve these 20 % I surmise.
You're not far off. According to the "National Catholic Reporter" in 1995 Greenland had 50 registered Catholics of which only 4 were native Greenlanders. While the numbers might have changed since then it can't have been that much.
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It's an interesting gallery.
Some of them, those with the dogs, are members of the Sirius Patrol. But the five men inside with QMII are the crew of Station Nord. They are military meteorologists and observers and all-round ground crew and maintenance people.
If you ever fly across the North Pole, as is typical for flights between Europe and North America, it's almost guaranteed that the crew that pilot your plane have received weather reports from Station Nord.
The military planes in the Arctic area near Greenland, be they from DK, Canada or USA also rely to a great extent on reports from Station Nord.
Satelittes are not always enough because the weather in the Arctic can change so sudden. So a weather station blistering with thermometers, barometers and what not can instantly record a sudden drop in the temperature or a sudden rise in the air pressure. They also keep an eye on the wind in air-lanes, because that can save serious money in fuel!
(Jet-stream! That's the word I was looking for.)

Station Nord does not consists of a shack were these five men are cooped up for the winter. The base is relatively large, although most of it is closed down for the winter.
The reason is that Station Nord also service tourists, researchers and hunters who come to this part of Greenland, predominantly during the summer months.
During these busy summer months Station Nord also double as an administrative center with policing, customs office, handling and processing permits, an emergency hospital, tourist office and all the multitude of civil service functions a remote state office handles - and this is where the Sirius Patrol comes in. Because they double as civil servants and police for both Greenland and Denmark, apart from being soldiers (or perhaps more correctly; Border guards.)

But come autumn the tourists, hunters and researcher will leave and these five men will be alone for most of the winter, apart from an occasional visit of the Sirius Patrol and the odd supply plane.
So QMII's visit could very well be the last civilian visit until March or April next year.

You will also notice that all the members of the Sirius Patrol wear sidearms. The normal sidearm in the Danish military is the standard 9 mm Parabellum. But the Sirius Patrol wear 10 mm pistols. They have been found to be able to stop, or at least slow down a polar bear in an emergency.
The 9 mm simply isn't powerful enough.
Their rifles are typically placed in a sheath on the sledges, but that's no good if you are in front of the sledge or walking behind a cabin and a Polar Bear suddenly turn up against the wind, to avoid the dogs detecting it. You can't outrun a bear!
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The Queen with some nice words on Frederik

"- And I have paid a lot of attention to how many people have mentioned the Crown Prince and his journey in the year 2000. I can feel that he has a very close connection to Greenland and to the Greenlanders, and I am very happy about that. I look forward to telling him that. He will be really happy about that. I know, it sounded from Queen Margrethe, who had the big smile on her face when she talked about her eldest son."

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