Queen Margrethe delivers traditional New Year's speech amid coronavirus pandemic: 'Let us take the good lessons learned with us'

By Heather Cichowski

Queen Margrethe delivers traditional New Year's speech amid coronavirus pandemic: 'Let us take the good lessons learned with us'


Queen Margrethe delivered her annual New Year's speech on Dec. 31. In her address, she touched on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and her hopes that people will continue to come together in the future like they have in 2020.

Margrethe delivered her speech in Danish, but the full address can be read on the Kongehuset website in English. Like many royal speeches this year, the New Year's address highlighted the impact of COVID-19.

"Tonight, we see another turn of the year. We look ahead and we look back," the Danish Queen began.

She continued, "We look ahead with confidence and expectation, and we look back – did the year turn out the way we had hoped?

"No! – The year 2020 brought us what nobody had imagined."

Margrethe reflected on the coronavirus spreading, the resulting lockdowns and how the changes impacted Denmark. She touched on how Danes found comfort and peace in nature and also highlighted how the "climate has benefited during the crisis" and "this is worth paying attention to" in an effort to conserve nature.

She urged people not to give up, especially as the holiday period was tough on so many, and encouraged everyone not to lose heart. The monarch called the vaccine and its roll out "a source of joy and encouragement."

"Let us take the good lessons learned with us and let us try to organise our lives in accordance with them," she stated.

The Danish royals were seen in public at the opening of Parliament at Christiansborg Palace on Oct. 6, 2020. Queen Margrethe blew a kiss to her sister, Princess Benedikte, as Crown Princess Mary and Crown Prince Frederik looked on. Photo: © Ole Jensen/Getty Images

Queen Margrethe also paid tribute to all the health care and other front-line workers who have played an integral part in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, including those in nursing homes and drop-in centres.

"Tonight, we bid farewell to a strange year. We will not forget 2020," Margrethe said. "This year has been a trial by fire, but we have shown that when it comes to the crunch we can stand together, and we manage to find moments of light, in spite of deprivation and uncertainty.

"We are now entering 2021. I hope the new year will be a year that brings us many joys and where we continue to remember to be there for each other.

"Together with all my family, I wish everybody a heartfelt happy New Year," she concluded.

MORE: Danish royal family changes Christmas and New Year's plans in light of COVID-19

The monarch delivered her New Year's speech from behind her desk in the Reception Room at Amalienborg. The 80-year-old wore a cream button-down dress printed with blue and navy leaves. Her hair was fastened back in an elegant chignon and she accessorized with a coordinating necklace and gold studs.

This marked the 49th's New Year address. It came after the Danish royal family announced a change to their holiday plans due to the recent surge in COVID-19.

Queen Margrethe and Princess Benedicte (back left) open the royal kitchen garden at Graasten Castle in Southern Jutland on July 24, 2020. Photo: © CLAUS FISKER/Ritzau Scanpix/AFP via Getty Images

Queen Margrethe mentioned in her speech how she spent Christmas with Prince Joachim, Princess Marie and the couple's children at Frederik VIII’s Palace in Amalienborg.

Margrethe originally planned to celebrate Christmas Eve at Schackenborg Palace in Møgeltønder, Southern Jutland.

The Danish royals' New Year's plans have also been changed. The originally planned levee at Christiansborg Palace for Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen and other representatives has been cancelled.

Instead, Margrethe will now receive written New Year’s greetings from the levee participants.

Back in March, Margrethe gave a rare speech in which she addressed the coronavirus pandemic and urged Danes to stay safe and stay home. She referred to COVID-19 as "a dangerous guest." Besides her annual New Year's Eve speech, Margrethe very rarely addresses the nation.

Godt nytår, or Happy New Year!


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