Queen Margrethe’s speech was broadcasted live from Fredensborg Palace at 6.00 pm on New Year’s Eve 2018 via radio, television and on the Internet.

The Royal Lifeguards’ Guard of Honour ceremony takes place outside just before the speech when they stand to attention with rifles, colours and two drummers.

King Christian stood by the lofty mast is played when the address has finished.

Danes residing in the rest of the world can tune in via www.dr.dk.

Behind the Scenes

Queen Margrethe’s speech is usually broadcasted live, usually from the Queen’s Drawing Room in Christian IX’s Palace at Amalienborg at 6.00 pm on New Year’s Eve (4.00 am AEDT on New Year’s Day in NSW, ACT, Victoria and Tasmania for Danes living in Australia.)

However, the New Year Message will be broadcasted from the Havesalen (Garden Room) at Fredensborg Palace whilst maintenance work on nearby drains is carried out at Amalienborg.

A television crew arrives to set up a TV studio, with light and sound, with a network representative and a cameraman.

The Havesalen (Garden Room) at Fredensborg Palace is ready for Queen Margrethe II’s 47th New Year’s speech. Photo: Kongehuset ©

Queen Margrethe receives a bouquet which matches her outfit so it is a surprise every year for viewers.

Usually, one camera is used to film Queen Margrethe’s speech but, in 2016, the TV signal disappeared for over one million viewers. A second camera is on standby just in case the main one fails to work.

Queen Margrethe sends New Year greetings to everyone in Denmark and Danes throughout the world.

Afterwards, photographers will be invited into the room to take photos of the Queen.

The Queen then wishes the TV production team and the photographers a happy new year before attending a private New Year celebration.

History of the New Year’s Speech

Christian IX began his so-called ‘bowl speech for the fatherland’ (skåltale for fædrelandet) speech during the 1880s.

Originally, the ‘bowl speech’ was given on New Year’s Day, not New Year’s Eve.

Danish newspapers printed transcripts of the New Year’s speech during Frederik VIII’s reign (1906 to 1912).

In 1909, Frederik VIII added the final prayer at the end of the speech, ‘God preserve Denmark’.

Frederik IX and Queen Margrethe have continued this tradition.

However, Christian X also ended his New Year Speech with a prayer for the blessing of the nation, which had a special symbolic significance during the German occupation from 1940 to 1945.

Christian X first broadcasted his speech live on radio in 1941.

His son, Frederik IX’s speech was first televised in 1958 on New Year’s Eve.

Frederik IX first broadcasted his New Year Speech on TV in 1958.

In 2010, Danes living abroad could tune in via the Internet.

Queen Margrethe’s New Year speech is one of the most popular broadcasts on Danish TV.

Transcript (Danish)

Så blev det igen nytårsaften.

Når klokken ved midnat slår tolv, rinder det gamle år ud. Netop i det øjeblik skåler vi og ønsker hinanden godt nytår.

Nytårsmorgen tager vi fat på friske dage. De ligger foran os, de venter på os, men bag os ligger den tid, der er gået.

Og dog – alt, hvad vi oplever, sætter spor og giver erfaringer, gode som mindre gode. Dem må vi bære med os videre i livet.

I disse år er der fremgang i Danmark. Virksomhederne kan mærke det, danskerne mærker det og er i fuldt sving. Økonomisk er landet godt kørende, men vi skal også give os tid til at overveje, hvad den medgang gør for os og gør ved os. Bliver fremgang også omsat til fremskridt?

Vores land bliver rigere. Men bliver vores liv rigere?

Mange oplever, at tempoet øges i dagligdagen, også mere end alle kan klare. Der er så meget, man skal nå, både på arbejdspladsen og i fritiden, måske vi skaber nogle af kravene selv. Vi vil jo så gerne have det hele med – helst på én gang.

I farten kan vi blive for ivrige med at føre os frem. Det er, som om flere siger ”se på mig” og færre har øje for andre.

Jeg kan godt frygte, at eftertanken og omtanken bliver klemt og glemt.

Den nye teknologi har skabt helt nye muligheder for kontakt med andre. Man kan ”facetime” med sine børn og børnebørn, selvom de sidder på den anden side af Jorden; det er til stor glæde for alle parter. Men den nye teknologi kan også medføre, at kontakten bliver mere upersonlig – man er ”online” hele tiden – og man glemmer, at der faktisk er et menneske i den anden ende. Det er så nemt at skrive en kommentar eller at dele et billede på de sociale medier, som kan være krænkende og efterlade dybe spor. Sådan noget ryger ud i ”cyber-space” og spreder sig som fluesværme.

Jeg synes, at der er en tendens til, at vores måde at være sammen på bliver mere overfladisk, mindre nærværende. Vi tager os ikke tid til at forstå hinanden og vi glemmer at respektere hinanden og passe på hinanden.

Det præger også vore børn.

Der er sikkert nogle børn, som ser med i aften?

Til jer vil jeg gerne sige et par ord:

Det vigtige er ikke, hvordan du ser ud eller hvad du har opnået. Men hvem du er, og hvordan du er overfor andre – dine venner og kammerater. Hvis man har så travlt med at opnå det bedste for sig selv hele tiden, kan man slet ikke se, hvordan andre har det.

Man skal give sig tid til at mærke, om en ven er ked af det. Der skal være tid til at forstå, om man har sagt noget, der sårer en anden, eller har drillet for meget. Så må man se at få det gjort godt igen.

Det gælder ikke bare for børn; det skal vi voksne også lægge mærke til.

Det øger tilliden, når vi mødes menneske til menneske og taler med hinanden.

Vel kan vi være uenige. Det skal man have lov til. Det hører med til at tænke over tingene og at danne sig en mening. Men vi skal altid lytte til hinanden og prøve at forstå hinanden.

Det gælder overalt i vores samfund.

Vores fælles styrke næres ved, at vi har respekt for vore medmennesker og viser tillid til hinanden, for vi har alle et ansvar for fællesskabet. Det er selve vort samfunds rødder.

Hvis rødderne er syge, kan træet ikke stå, og det vil tage mange år for et nyt træ at vokse sig stærkt.

Derfor er det alvorligt, hvis nogle, som er en vigtig del af vort samfund, tager for let på deres ansvar og svigter deres forpligtelser. Er det noget vi genkender fra den senere tid?

Med betroede positioner følger et særligt ansvar og en særlig pligt til at gøre sit bedste, dér hvor man er sat.

Det gør mig trist, hvis moralen skrider. Hvad bliver der så af almindelig anstændighed? Man skal kende forskel på dit og mit, på rigtigt og forkert. Det burde ikke være så svært.

Det optager stadig flere, at vores levevis påvirker miljøet og klimaet.

Virksomheder har grønne strategier. Vind, sol og biomasse giver os renere energi. Hjemme i køkkenerne sorterer man affaldet. Mange køber økologisk.

Det er nok de unge, der går forrest. Det er dem, der forstår, at fremtidens problemer bliver deres. De vil ikke – som os ældre – blive hængende i gamle vaner.

Derfor skal vi lytte opmærksomt til de unge, når vi drøfter, hvordan vi kan undgå at udfordre balancen i naturen.

Vi skal have omtanke for fremtiden. Vi skal tænke os om i tide.

I Grønland smelter isen. Her er forandringerne også tydelige.

Dér, højt mod nord, lever man tæt på naturen. Vejr og vind, is og sne er noget alle er afhængige af året rundt. I disse år er naturen gavmild. Fiskeriet går godt. Det giver fremgang.

Det er mit håb, at den gode udvikling for Grønland fortsætter, og at det vidtstrakte land må bindes bedre sammen og knyttes tættere til Danmark og verden.

Jeg sender mine varmeste nytårsønsker til alle i Grønland.

Denne sommer besøgte Kronprinsparret sammen med deres fire børn Færøerne.

De mødte et moderne samfund med høj vækst og udvikling, men også et folk, der er bevidst om, hvem de selv er. Færingerne har en umiddelbarhed, gæstfrihed og varme, som jeg husker fra de gange Prins Henrik og jeg har besøgt landet.

I aften vil jeg sige en stor tak til alle, der gjorde besøget på Færøerne til en enestående oplevelse for Kronprinsparret og deres børn.

Jeg ønsker alle på Færøerne et godt nytår.

En særlig nytårshilsen sender jeg til det danske mindretal i Sydslesvig.

Her lever dansk kultur og sprog i fredelig sameksistens med det tyske flertal. I en verden, hvor så mange grænseegne er præget af modsætningsforhold og skarpe standpunkter, er netop denne egn et smukt forbillede, som både de danske og tyske institutioner og foreninger kan være stolte af.

I aften går mine tanker også til de udsendte danske soldater, politifolk og specialister. Det drejer sig ikke om så mange i år, men de tæller hver og én, dér hvor de er, i lande som Irak, Afghanistan, Kosovo og de baltiske lande. De er savnede herhjemme. Vi tænker på dem og ønsker dem godt nytår.

Jeg ønsker også et godt nyt år for alle danske, som opholder sig udenfor landet. Uanset om de er ude for en kort tid eller har slået sig ned, måske for bestandigt, er de med til at tegne Danmark.

Det er langt fra alle, der kan holde fri i aften.

Herhjemme i Danmark er beredskab, politifolk, soldater og brandmænd på vagt. De sørger for, at vi andre kan fejre nytår trygt og sikkert.

I busser og taxaer, i tog og fly og ombord på skibe kan man heller ikke holde fri sådan en nytårsaften, ligesom også mange har vagt på sygehuse, på plejehjem og i andre institutioner, hvor de sørger for at gøre nytårsaften tryg og festlig. En hel del frivillige vælger også i år at fejre nytårsaften ved at rykke ind på herberger og andre opholdssteder for at gøre aftenen festlig for dem, der er mest alene og har det svært.

Jeg ønsker et godt nytår til de mange, der arbejder for os alle i aften.

Jeg kan ikke se tilbage på året, der er gået, uden at nævne Prins Henriks død. 50 år fik vi sammen, to sønner har vi fået, otte børnebørn er kommet til, – alt dét og mere er blevet os givet. Den varme sympati, der er vist os, og den forståelse for Prins Henriks indsats, som kom så smukt til udtryk fra alle i Danmark ved hans død, har varmet os alle, også hans familie i Frankrig. Jeg må endnu engang udtrykke min dybtfølte tak.

Kronprins Frederik fejrede i år sin 50-års fødselsdag, den valgte han at fejre på sin helt egen måde. En stor tak til de mange tusinder, både store og små, der deltog i Royal Run, enten ved at løbe med på ruten, eller – som jeg selv – ved at heppe på løberne.

Det blev en dejlig dag, som gjorde ham både glad og taknemmelig og som gjorde mig så stolt.

Kronprinsen, Kronprinsessen, Prins Joachim og Prinsesse Marie og mine otte dejlige børnebørn har sammen med mig så meget at sige tak for. Vi mærker alle den varme opbakning, der møder os rundt omkring, ved særlige begivenheder såvel som i det daglige.

Livet bringer os både sorger og glæder.

Lad os møde det nye år med eftertanke og med omtanke. Lad os bære erfaringerne – gode som mindre gode – med os ind i det nye år og tage fat på året med håb – og fortrøstning.

Jeg ønsker alle et godt nyt år!

GUD BEVARE DANMARK

Queen Margrethe II delivers her 47th New Year Address on 31 December 2018. Photo: Keld Navntoft, Ritzau Scanpix ©

English Translation

It is New Year’s Eve once again!

When the clock strikes twelve at midnight, the old year comes to an end. At that very moment, we toast the new year and wish each other “Happy New Year”.

On New Year’s Morning, we wake up to embrace new days. They lie ahead of us, waiting for us, but the time that has passed lies behind us.

And yet – all the things that happen to us leave an impact and provide us with experience, good and not so good. We must carry that experience with us further in life.

These years we are witnessing economic progress in Denmark. Our companies feel it, the Danes feel it and are steaming ahead. Economically, Denmark is doing very well, but we must also take the time to consider what this good fortune is doing for us and doing to us. Is economic progress also translated into social progress?

Our country is becoming richer. But are our lives becoming richer?

Many people experience that the pace of day-to-day life has increased, also more than all can keep up with. There is so much that needs to be done, both at work and during leisure time. Perhaps we create some of the demands ourselves. We do not want to miss out on anything – we want it all, and preferably at the same time.

In our hurry, we may become too keen on being in the limelight. It is as if more people say, “look at me” and fewer have an eye for others.

I fear that reflection and consideration may be pushed back and forgotten.

New technology has created altogether new opportunities for contact with others. It is possible to FaceTime with one’s children and grandchildren even though they are on the other side of the globe; it is a source of great joy to all parties. However, new technology may also result in the contact becoming more impersonal – we are “online” all the time – and we forget that, actually, there is a human being at the other end. It is so easy to write a comment or share a photo on social media that may be offensive and leave deep scars. That sort of thing goes into cyberspace, spreading like swarms of flies.

I find there is a tendency that our way of spending time together becomes more superficial, less attentive. We do not take the time to understand each other and we forget to respect each other and take care of each other.

It also affects our children.

There are probably some children who are also watching tonight?

To you I would like to say a few words:

The important thing is not how you look or what you have achieved. But who you are and how you behave towards others – your friends and schoolmates; if you are so busy achieving what is best for yourself all the time, you fail to see how others are doing.

You need to take the time to notice if a friend is unhappy. There must be time to understand if you have said something that hurts a friend, or you have teased someone too much. It is important to patch things up again then.

This does not apply to children only; we who are adults should also bear it in mind.

Trust develops when we meet person-to-person and speak with each other.

We may well disagree. We are entitled to that. It is part of reflecting and forming an opinion. But we must always listen to each other and try to understand each other.

This applies throughout our society.

Our common strength is nurtured when we feel respect for our fellow human beings and place trust in each other, for we all have a responsibility for the community. This is the very roots of our society.

If the roots are not healthy, the tree cannot stand, and it will take many years for a new tree to grow tall and strong.

Therefore, it is serious if people who represent an important part of our society take their responsibility too lightly and fail to meet their obligations. Is this something we have seen recently?

Those entrusted with high positions carry a special responsibility and a special duty to do their best where they are placed.

It makes me very sad if morals decline. What is to become of common decency then? We must be able to distinguish between what is yours and mine, between right and wrong. It ought not to be that difficult.

It is a matter of concern to more and more people that our lifestyle affects the environment and climate change.

Companies have green strategies, Wind, sun and biomass provide us with cleaner energy. At home in the kitchen, we sort waste. Many buy organic products.

It is probably the young who are leading the way. They understand that the problems of the future will become theirs. They – unlike us older people – do not want to get stuck in old habits.

Therefore, we must listen attentively to the young when we discuss how to avoid challenging the balance of nature.

We must give consideration to the future. We must give the future careful thought in time.

In Greenland, the ice is melting. There, the changes are also conspicuous.

There, in the high north, people live close to nature. Wind and weather, snow and ice are something all are dependent on throughout the year. These years, nature is generous. The fishing industry is doing well. That generates progress.

It is my hope that the good development in Greenland will continue, and that this vast country will become better integrated and more closely linked to Denmark and the world at large.

I send my warmest New Year greetings to everybody in Greenland.

This summer the Crown Prince and the Crown Princess together with their four children visited the Faroe Islands.

They encountered a modern society with high growth and development, but also a people that is aware of who they themselves are. Faroese people are characterised by a directness, hospitality and warmth that I remember from the visits Prince Henrik and I paid to the country.

Tonight, I wish to say a big thank you to everybody who contributed to making the visit to the Faroe Islands a unique experience for the Crown Prince, the Crown Princess and their children.

I wish everybody in the Faroe Islands a happy New Year.

I send special New Year greetings to the Danish minority in South Schleswig.

There, Danish culture and language live in peaceful co-existence with the German majority. In a world where so many border regions are characterised by conflicts of interest and sharp viewpoints, exactly this region serves as a fine example which both Danish and German institutions and associations can be proud of.

Tonight, my thoughts also go to the Danish soldiers, police officers and specialists who are posted abroad. There are not so many this year, but they matter, each and every one of them in the places where they serve, in countries like Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo, and the Baltic States. They are missed at home. We think of them and wish them a happy New Year.

I also send my New Year greetings to all Danes who live outside Denmark. Regardless of whether they are staying abroad for a short while or have settled, perhaps for good, they contribute to representing Denmark.

It is far from all who are off duty tonight.

Here in Denmark, the Emergency Management Agency, the Police, the Defence and the Fire Brigade are on duty. They see to it that the rest of us can celebrate the new year safely and securely.

On buses and in taxis, on trains and planes, and on-board ships, it is not possible to be off duty on such a New Year’s Eve. Also, many are on duty at hospitals, nursing homes, and other institutions where they make sure that New Year’s Eve is safe and festive. Many volunteers choose to hold the New Year celebrations at hostels and other shelters where they turn up to make the evening festive for those who are most alone and find life hard.

I send New Year greetings to the many who are working for us all tonight.

I cannot look back at the year that has passed without mentioning the death of Prince Henrik. We spent 50 years together, we had two sons, and eight grandchildren have been added to the family – we were given all that, and much more. The warm sympathy that was shown to us, and the understanding of Prince Henrik’s contribution which was so beautifully expressed by everybody in Denmark upon his demise have warmed the hearts of us all, including his family in France. Once again, I wish to express my deep-felt gratitude.

Crown Prince Frederik celebrated his 50th birthday this year. He decided to celebrate it in quite his own way. A big thank you to the many thousands, both grown-ups and children, who participated in the Royal Run, either by running the route or – like myself – by cheering on the runners.

It was a fine day that made him both happy and grateful, and which made me so proud.

The Crown Prince, the Crown Princess, Prince Joachim and Princess Marie and my eight wonderful grandchildren together with me have so much to say thanks for. We all feel the warm support which we encounter everywhere, on special occasions, as well as in day-to-day life.

Life brings us both sorrows and joys.

Let us welcome the new year with reflection and consideration. Let us carry our experience – good and not so good – into the new year and let us embrace the year in a spirit of hope and confidence.

I wish you all a happy New Year!

GOD BLESS DENMARK

Queen Margrethe II delivers her 47th New Year Address on 31 December 2018. Photo: Keld Navntoft, Ritzau Scanpix ©

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