The secret gala dinner organized by the descendants of Queen Margrethe II for her 50 years of reign

The day of celebration of the Golden Jubilee of the Queen of Denmark ended with a wonderful surprise for Margrethe II. His two children, his two daughters-in-law and his eight grandchildren had reserved a surprise gala dinner for him at Christian VII Palace in Amalienborg. For the occasion, the precious Flora Danica service was set up on the table.

Read also: Margrethe II and her grandchildren at the premiere of Frozen directed by the Queen

Two children, two daughters-in-law and eight grandchildren surprise Margrethe II

A gala dinner welcoming high dignitaries from the Kingdom of Denmark and royal guests from all over Europe was normally planned to celebrate the 50 years of reign of Queen Margrethe II. This gala dinner, as well as many other festivities such as a balcony appearance, inaugurations and a carriage parade in Copenhagen, have been canceled and are normally postponed to September 2022, due to the health crisis.

The Danish royal family gathered in full around Queen Margrethe II for a surprise gala dinner on the occasion of her Golden Jubilee. Only Queen Anne-Marie of Greece is missing from the party (Photo: Keld Navntoft, Kongehuset)

As a consolation, the children and grandchildren of Queen Margrethe II secretly organized a more modest gala dinner, at least in terms of the number of guests. Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary were present with their four children: Prince Christian, Princess Isabella and the twins who celebrated their 11th birthday a few days ago, Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine.

Prince Vincent, Prince Nikolai, Prince Christian, Queen Margrethe II, Crown Prince Frederik, Princess Maie and Princess Isabella at the table on January 14, 2022 (Photo: Keld Navntoft, Kongehuset)

Prince Joachim and Princess Marie have specially returned from France with their two children: Prince Henrik and Princess Athena. As for Prince Nikolai and Prince Felix, the eldest sons of Prince Joachim, from his first marriage, they could not miss this dinner in honor of their grandmother to whom they are so close.

Finally, Princess Benedikte, sister of Margrethe II, sat next to her nephew and, like all the other members of the family, wore the commemorative Golden Jubilee medal received earlier in the day. All Court employees also received this decoration and wore it proudly during service. Only Queen Anne-Marie of Greece, the second sister of Margrethe II was missing, unable to travel to Denmark following the coronavirus infection of her husband, King Constantine II.

Prince Felix, Princess Benedikte, Prince Joachim, Crown Princess Mary, Prince Henrik, Princess Josephine and Princess Athena prepare to eat (Photo: Keld Navntoft, Kongehuset)

The dinner was held at Christian VII Palace, one of four buildings that make up the royal complex of Amalienborg in Copenhagen. The queen lives in the Christian IX palace and the heiress family in the Frederick VIII palace, this mansion, also called Moltke palace, is usually used for receptions and to welcome guests.

Queen Margrethe II was invited to parliament in the morning, then she went with her family to the tomb of her parents, King Frederick IX and Queen Ingrid, next to Roskilde Cathedral. The field was therefore free in Copenhagen to set a beautiful table without her noticing. By observing the menus and the boxes placed on the table, we see that they are accompanied by the monogram of the heir couple, which indicates that Frederik and Mary are officially the organizers of the evening.

Read also: Margrethe II finds her two great grandsons: Nikolai and Felix

Flora Danica service is used for the first time in more than 30 years

Denmark’s most expensive service was used for the occasion. The Flora Danica service had been carefully stored in cupboards (and displayed behind display cases) since 1990. It had been used that year during the gala organized for Queen Ingrid’s 80th birthday. It could have been used for Queen Margrethe II’s 80th birthday gala dinner, scheduled for April 2020 with European royal guests, but it too was canceled in the midst of the first wave of the health crisis.

The Flora Danica service was out for this great event (Photo: Keld Navntoft, Kongehuset)

The Flora Danica service was created at the end of the 18th century by the Royal Porcelain Factory in Copenhagen. Plants and flowers typical of Denmark have been painted by hand and life-size on the pieces of this service. The name Flora Danica, which means “Danish flowers” in Latin, refers to the title of the book of the same name which lists all the flowers in the country.

This precious tableware was commissioned by Christian VII and would be the most expensive service in Denmark (Photo: Keld Navntoft, Kongehuset)

According to the Danish Court, the service was commissioned by King Christian VII who wanted to give it as a gift to Empress Catherine II of Russia. Catherine II died in 1796, even before the dishes were finished. The Danish king then continued its production but kept the dishes for his family. The service included 1800 pieces and there are still 1500 pieces. When the service is not used at the table, some of the items are displayed behind display cases in the parts of the Christian VII palace open to the public or to guests. We also notice the shimmering white tablecloth which reveals the design of the elephant attached to its tower, reminiscent of the symbols of the Order of the Elephant.

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Athena of Denmark, Christian of Denmark, dinner, Felix of Denmark, gala, Henrik of Denmark, Isabella of Denmark, Joachim of Denmark, Josephine of Denmark, Golden Jubilee, Nikolai of Denmark, Princess Marie of Denmark, tableware, Vincent of Denmark

Nicholas Fontaine

Chief Editor

Nicolas Fontaine has been a freelance web editor since 2014. After having been a copywriter and author for numerous Belgian and French brands and media, he specialized in royalty news. Nicolas is now editor-in-chief of Histoires royales. [email protected]

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