Queen Margrethe of Denmark delivers her 48th New Year’s speech from the reception room at Christian IX’s Palace, Amalienborg, at 6.00 pm on Tuesday, 31 December 2019.

The reception room is transformed into a small TV studio with lights and one camera to broadcast the Queen’s speech. Another camera is on standby, as as a backup, if the first one has technical difficulties during the broadcast.

Transcript (Danish)

I år var det 50 år siden, at mennesket landede på månen og vi fik vores egen planet Jorden at se som en lille klode i det store rum: ganske alene, men så smuk og rund og blå: Planeten, hvor vi har hjemme. For os her i Danmark er det måske ikke så overraskende, at planeten er blå, for vi har jo havet foran os og den blå himmel over os.

Så storslået og varieret vor Jord end kan synes, er den dog sårbar. Det er vi ved at lære at indse, og det kan godt bekymre, ikke mindst mange unge, som ser klimaforandringerne, der gør sig tydeligt gældende i disse år. Vi har en fælles forpligtelse for vores smukke klode, så myldrende fuld af liv. Det er en væsentlig udfordring for os alle i dag, og det gælder om, at vi alle er opmærksomme på, hvordan vi lever og hvad vi gør.

I vores tid har der sneget sig en følelse ind, som kan være svær at tale om, men som vi må sætte ord på for at komme til livs:

Ensomhed. Det er en følelse, som rammer mange. Det gælder ikke alene socialt udsatte, det gælder ældre mennesker, som ser deres ægtefælle og deres jævnaldrende falde fra – hvor blev de af, alle de, der fyldte hverdagen? Men det kan ligeså vel gælde børn og ganske unge mennesker. Hvem vil lege med mig? Hvem har jeg at snakke med? Ikke bare på Facebook, men rigtigt: ansigt til ansigt under fire øjne med en jævnaldrende eller med en, der er ældre, og som man kan betro sig til. En at dele sine tanker med.

Vi har brug for at tale sammen, også om ensomheden. Vi har brug for hinanden. Vi har brug for at få bekræftet, at vi betyder noget.

2020 bliver et år med meget at mindes. Den 9. april er det 80 år siden, at Danmark blev besat. En begivenhed, der kom til at præge alle, der oplevede det, og som har sat sig dybe spor i Danmarks bevidsthed. Der gik 5 år, men så kom Befrielsen den 4. og 5. maj 1945. Den fyldte alle med en berusende glæde, der kunne mærkes, også af en, der, som jeg, kun var 5 år gammel. Men glæden kunne ikke deles af alle, for Bornholm måtte først gennemleve et bombardement, der gik hårdt ud over Rønne og Nexø og medførte tragiske civile tab.

Det er længe siden, ja, og de, der oplevede det, er væk næsten allesammen. Dog er det 5 år, som stadig bliver mindet, også med stolthed, for det sammenhold og den offervilje, som viste, hvad vi i Danmark er i stand til. Vi skal stadig stå på vagt for de værdier, vi kæmpede for, og som vort samfund stadig bygger på.

Det er beskæmmende at opleve, hvordan antisemitismen igen stikker sit grimme ansigt frem, også her hos os. Antisemitisme, intolerance og undertrykkelse af anderledes tænkende hører ingen steder hjemme. Det er noget, som vi skal være meget opmærksomme på og hjælpe hinanden med at modarbejde.

Den 10. juli er det 100-året for Sønderjyllands genforening med Danmark. Genforeningsdagen blev en mærkedag, ikke blot for sønderjyderne, men en dag, som inddrog hele Danmarks befolkning. I tusindvis strømmede folk til fra hele landet for at opleve Kong Christian X ride over grænsen på den hvide hest. Måske mange i dag kan føle, at det ligger fjernt, men spørg sønderjyderne: De ved, at dér vendte et blad sig i Danmarks historie. Det kan vi godt være bekendt at fejre, når årsdagen kommer, og det vil vi fejre.

I sensommeren besøgte jeg Slesvig-Holsten, hvor jeg fik en varm og festlig modtagelse, som var med til at bekræfte det stærke naboskab og gode venskab mellem Tyskland og Danmark.

Det blev også til et uforglemmeligt møde med det danske mindretal.

I kom ikke hjem til Danmark for 100 år siden. Men Danmark er og bliver jeres hjerteland. Det rørte mig at høre, også fra den unge generation. Det vil jeg aldrig glemme!

Både det danske mindretal og det tyske mindretal har deres del i, at grænselandet i årenes løb har udviklet sig så harmonisk og fredeligt. Det er blevet et forbillede for hele verden. Jeg sender mine varme nytårsønsker til alle i grænselandet.

Mens isen er ved at slippe sit tag om Grønland, bliver verdens opmærksomhed i stigende grad vendt mod landet højt mod nord. Det land og det folk står mig og min families hjerte meget nær. Vi følger altid med i hvad der sker og rører sig i Grønland, og I er i vore tanker, både når det kniber, og når I griber fat om problemerne med fortrøstning. Et godt og lykkeligt nytår ønsker jeg for alle i Grønland.

Også til Færøerne går mine tanker på årets sidste aften. Også herfra har jeg og min familie varme og gode minder. Med utrættelig iver har I forstået at overvinde mange af de vanskeligheder, som møder et samfund, der ligger geografisk isoleret og udsat for naturkræfterne. Jeg sender alle på Færøerne mine hjertelige nytårsønsker.

Under fjerne himmelstrøg bidrager vore danske udsendte soldater til frihed og stabilitet. Det skal vi huske på denne aften, hvor de er ekstra savnet herhjemme.

Jeg sender mine varmeste hilsener og gode ønsker for det nye år til alle udsendte og til deres familier.

Det er ikke kun ude i verden, der er folk på vagt. Min nytårshilsen går til alle inden for forsvaret, beredskabet, politiet, sundhedsvæsenet og alle andre, der er på arbejde i aften og i nat. Mænd og kvinder, der alle passer deres post, mens andre kan holde fri og fejre nytåret trygt og sikkert.

Hvor i verden man end vender sig, møder man danskere. I foråret besøgte jeg Argentina, også dér bor der mange, hvis rødder er i Danmark og som holder fast ved den arv. Til dem og til alle andre med danske rødder, hvor i verden de end befinder sig, sender jeg mine nytårsønsker med tak for deres trofasthed mod det gamle land.

Hver dag gør min store familie mig glad og stolt. Kronprinsen og Kronprinsessen har nok at bestille, og samtidig formår de at skabe et varmt hjem om deres fire børn.

Prins Joachim og Prinsesse Marie med deres to børn er i Paris, hvor Prins Joachim efteruddanner sig ved det franske militærakademi. Samtidig har jeg nydt at kunne følge hans fortællinger om Danmarks historie på fjernsynet. Det tænkte jeg nok, at han ville være god til.

I det nye år skal Prins Christian konfirmeres. Han bliver snart en ung mand og har livet foran sig. Selv har jeg rund fødselsdag. Jeg har mange år bag mig.

Jeg er taknemmelig for alt, hvad årene bringer mig, og for al den varme, som jeg og hele min familie stadig bliver mødt med. Det både inspirerer os og forpligter os.

Nu står året 2020 for døren.

Endnu ved vi ikke, hvad det vil bringe. Vi linder på døren, det er som et nyt bekendtskab med nye muligheder. Alle har vi planer, større eller mindre, og ønsker, mere eller mindre opnåelige. Lad os gå ind i det nye år sammen. Jeg ønsker alle et godt nyt år. Måtte det blive et godt år for Danmark.

Gud Bevare Danmark

English Translation

Another year has gone by. 2019 lies behind us now with all that it brought us: memories that will endure, good as well as sad ones and challenges we had to take on, difficult as well as stimulating ones.

This year, it is 50 years ago that man landed on the moon, and we were able to see our own planet, Earth, as a small globe in outer space: quite alone, but so beautiful and round and blue – the blue planet where we belong. For us here in Denmark, it is perhaps not so surprising that the planet is blue. After all, we have the sea in front of us and the blue sky above us.

Regardless of how grand and varied, it may seem, our Earth is vulnerable. We are in the process of realising that, and it gives rise to concern, not least among many young people who see the climate change effects that are clearly visible these years. We have a shared responsibility for our beautiful globe, so teeming with life. It is an essential challenge to us all today, and it is important that we all pay attention to how we live and what actions we take.

In our age, a feeling has emerged which may be difficult to talk about. However, we must put it into words in order to defeat it.

Loneliness: it is a feeling that many experience. Not only socially vulnerable people. Also, elderly people who see their spouses or their contemporaries pass away – what happened to them, all those who used to fill an everyday life. But also children and very young people may experience loneliness. Who wants to play with me? Who can I talk to? Not just on Facebook, but in real life: face to face, in private with a friend of the same age or with someone who is older and who one can confide in. Someone to share one’s thoughts with.

We need to talk together, also about loneliness. We need each other. We need to have it confirmed that we matter.

2020 will be a year with a great many things to remember. On 9 April, it is 80 years ago that Denmark was occupied. An event that came to influence all those who experienced it, and which has left deep traces in the consciousness of Denmark. Five years passed. But then the Liberation came on 4 and 5 May 1945. It filled everybody with euphoric joy, which was also felt by those who like me were only five years old. But not all could share in the joy, for the Island of Bornholm was subjected to heavy bombardment that left the towns of Rønne and Nexø badly damaged and resulted in a tragic loss of civilian lives.

It is a long time ago, and those who experienced the events of the time have almost all passed away. Nevertheless, it is five years that continue to be remembered, also with pride, for the spirit of solidarity and self-sacrifice that showed what we in Denmark are capable of. We must continue to stand guard over the values we fought for and which remain the foundation of our society. It is disgraceful to see how anti-Semitism raises its ugly head once again, also here in our country. Anti-Semitism, intolerance and repression of people who think differently – it has no place in our society. This is something we must pay close attention to, and which we must help each other to counter.

On 10 July, we shall celebrate the centenary of the Reunification of South Jutland with Denmark. Reunification Day became a landmark day, not just for the people of South Jutland but a day that involved all the people of Denmark. In the thousands, from all over the country, people flocked south to see King Christian X ride across the border on the white horse. Many may feel today that it is a distant event, but ask the people of South Jutland: they know that a page was turned in the history of Denmark on that day. It will be fine for us to celebrate that when we reach the anniversary, and we will celebrate it.

In late summer, I visited Schleswig-Holstein where I received a warm and festive welcome, which contributed to confirming the strong neighbourly relations and good friendship between Germany and Denmark.

It also became an unforgettable meeting with the Danish minority.

You did not come home to Denmark 100 years ago. However, Denmark is and will continue to be the country of your heart. I was moved to hear that, also from the young generation. I shall never forget that!

It is thanks to both the Danish minority in Germany and the German minority in Denmark that the border country has developed so harmoniously and peacefully over the years. It has come to serve as a model for the rest of the world. I send my warm New Year greetings to everybody in the border country.

While the ice around Greenland is loosening its grip, the world’s attention is increasingly turning towards the country in the high north. That country and its people are very close to me and the heart of my family. We always follow events and developments in Greenland, and you are in our thoughts, both when there are difficulties and when you address the problems with confidence. I wish everybody in Greenland a good and happy New Year.

My thoughts also go to the Faroe Islands on the last evening of the year. Also from there, my family and I have warm and good memories. With tireless persistence, you have managed to overcome many of the difficulties facing a society that is geographically isolated and exposed to the forces of nature. I send my heartfelt New Year wishes to everybody in the Faroe Islands.

Under distant skies, our Danish soldiers who are posted abroad contribute to freedom and stability. We must remember that on this evening when they are particularly missed at home.

I send my warmest greetings and good wishes for the new year to all who are posted abroad and to their families.

It is not only in other countries that Danes are on duty. My New Year greetings go to everybody in the defence, the emergency management services, the police, the health care sector and all others who are at work this evening and tonight. Men and women who all attend to their duties while others are off work and can celebrate New Year safely and securely.

Wherever in the world one goes, one will encounter Danes. In spring, I visited Argentina. Also in that country, there are many who have Danish roots and who hold on to this heritage. To them and to all others with Danish roots, wherever in the world they are, I send my New Year wishes with a “thank you” for their loyalty to the old country.

Every day, my big family makes me happy and proud. The Crown Prince and the Crown Princess have plenty to do, and at the same time, they manage to create a warm home for their four children.

Prince Joachim and Princess Marie together with their two children are in Paris, where Prince Joachim is receiving additional training at the French military academy. At the same time, I have enjoyed watching his talks about Danish history on TV. I knew he would be good at it.

In the new year, Prince Christian’s confirmation will take place. He will soon be a young man with life ahead of him. I shall celebrate my 80th birthday. I have many years behind me.

I am grateful for all that the years bring me, and for all the warmth that I and all my family continue to be met with. It is a source of inspiration as well as an obligation.

We are standing at the door of the year 2020.

We do not know yet what it will bring. We open the door a little, it is like making a new acquaintance with new opportunities. We all have plans, big and not so big plans, and wishes, more or less attainable wishes. Let us enter the new year together. I wish everybody a happy New Year. May it become a good year for Denmark.

God Preserve Denmark

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’, a tradition which continued during to this day.

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.

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