Denmark’s Queen Margrethe will visit Reykjavík in Iceland on 1 December 2018 for celebrations to mark 100 years since the nation declared Independence.

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark. Photo: Torben Eskerod, Kongehuset ©

A Shared History

This visit’s major theme is the close relationship between the two countries, focusing on Iceland’s history, development and a sense of national identity.

Evidence of Queen Margrethe’s personal connection with Iceland is one of her middle names, Þórhildur. Her father, Frederik IX, was head of state of both Denmark and Iceland when Queen Margrethe was born on 16 April 1940, as they were part of a union since 1918.

King Frederik IX was also King of Iceland until 1944. Official photographer to the Danish Court Johannes Jaeger

However, Iceland was given responsibilities for its own policies and declared itself an independent republic in 1944, following the German occupation in Denmark from 1940.

Iceland had been part of Denmark for over 500 years, beginning with the Kalmar Union in 1397.

Iceland’s President Guðni Thoilacius Johannesson had visited Denmark in October 2018, where he joined in the nation’s official celebration of the 100th anniversary of Iceland’s sovereignty.

Earlier this year, in May, the President and First Lady Eliza Jean Reid attended Crown Prince Frederik’s 50th Birthday celebrations.

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The President and the First Lady made their first official visit to Denmark in January 2017, amidst pomp and circumstance, including an audience with Queen Margrethe at Amalienborg and meeting Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen.

Queen Margarethe’s last paid a visit in 2013 for the 350th anniversary of the birth of scholar and manuscript collector, Árni Magnusson, who founded the Arnamagnæan Manuscript Collection.

Queen Margrethe’s Itinerary

The President and the First Lady Eliza Jean Reid will receive Queen Margaret at Harpa Concert Hall at 11.30 am to see an exhibition by Hörður Lárusson, focusing on the creation of the Icelandic state’s flag one hundred years ago. Other proposals for the flag will also be on display.

Queen Margrethe and the Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen will join Iceland’s President and First Lady for a lunch around 11.55 am.

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At 1.00 pm, the Queen and Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen will be present at a ceremony, including musical entertainment, held in front of the government building at Lækjargata, with the Icelandic Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdóttir and members of the Icelandic government. The Danish-Icelandic Act of Union was proclaimed on this spot on 1 December 1918.

Queen Margrethe then visits Iceland’s national gallery, Listasafn Íslands, at 2.35 pm to see the exhibition ‘Blossoming’, about the creation and development of Iceland as an independent nation.

Then it is off to the Vigdís Finnbogadóttir Institute of Foreign Languages, at 3.30 pm, which is a research centre at the University of Iceland. The centre’s founder, former president Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, who will show The Queen around the exhibition focusing on her life and work, and explains more about the teaching and research at the Institute.

Queen Margrethe will then open a new exhibition, including works by Danish artist Karin Birgitte Lund.
At the end of the visit, Queen Margrethe will present two research grants, ‘HM Queen Margrethe II Distinguished Research Project on the Danish-Icelandic reception of Nordic antiquity.’

At 6.00 pm, Queen Margrethe will attend a dinner hosted by Iceland’s President and First Lady at their official residence, Bessastaðir.

At 8.00 pm, Queen Margrethe will attend a gala performance at Harpa and hear speeches from Iceland’s President and the Icelandic prime minister.

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