Prince Christian of Denmark is celebrating his 18th Birthday today, which is being marked with an appearance on the Balcony of Amalienborg Palace and a Gala Dinner at Christiansborg Palace as well as a meeting of the Council of State to be held in November. The eldest child of Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary, Prince Christian is second-in-line to the Danish throne.
Queen Margrethe hosted a Gala Dinner at Christiansborg Palace, where, among other things, representatives from a selection of the country’s youth organizations as well as young people who have distinguished themselves in the world of sport, art and culture were invited.
During the Gala Dinner, the Royal Family gave several speeches (full transcripts further down). In addition, the Royal Palace, in collaboration with the country’s municipalities, invited up to 200 young people from the Commonwealth to participate in the celebration, as each of Denmark’s municipalities as well as Greenland and the Faroe Islands had the opportunity to select two 18-year-olds to participate in the gala.
Queen Anne-Marie of Greece wore the Khedive of Egypt Tiara, her Sapphire Necklace, Queen Ingrid’s Diamond Earrings and her Diamond Swan Brooch with the Danish Order of the Elephant. Princess Benedikte wore the Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg Fringe Tiara and her Amethyst Suite with the Order of the Elephant.
Crown Princess Victoria (the godmother of Prince Christian)was wearing the Laurel Wreath Tiara and Queen Josefina’s Diamond Stomacher Necklace with the Order of the Elephant, accompanied by Prince Daniel and Princess Estelle of Sweden.
Crown Prince Haakon (godfather), Crown Princess Mette-Marit (godmother) wore wearing her Diamond Daisy Bandeau, Pendant Earrings, Aquamarine Brooch and the Order of Victoria and Albert Bracelet with the Order of the Elephant.
Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway wore Princess Ingeborg’s Boucheron Pearl Circle Tiara, Crown Princess Märtha’s Pearl Earrings, and Crown Princess Märtha’s Art Deco Diamond Bracelet with the Order of the Elephant for the first time.
The Duchess of Brabant wore the Wolfers Necklace Tiara, Queen Mathilde’s Diamond Earrings, and the Order of Leopold. The Princess of Orange (wearing the Dutch Sapphire Necklace Tiara, Queen Wilhelmina’s Diamond Trellis Necklace, Sapphire and Diamond Bracelets and the Order of the Netherlands Lion.
Crown Prince Pavlos (godfather) was wearing the Danish Order of the Elephant and the Order of Saints George and Constantine while Crown Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece wearing Queen Sophie’s Diamond Tiara and the Order of Saints Olga and Sophia.
Queen Margrethe’s Speech:
It is with great pleasure that tonight I welcome you to this festive evening in the Knight’s Hall at Christiansborg Castle, where we celebrate Prince Christian’s 18th birthday.
It is a special pleasure to be able to welcome all the young people from all over the country and from the Faroe Islands and Greenland who are gathered here tonight.
A warm welcome to all our guests from near and far who have come here to celebrate Prince Christian on his 18th birthday.
Dear Christian, your 18th birthday is an important day, with it you come of age, just as it happens for all other young Danes. But there is still a difference. Your path in life is already set, for one day you will follow your father, just as he will follow me one day. You become a link in the long historical chain that has bound our country together for centuries.
It can sound violent when you are eighteen years young. It is a challenge, but there is also a sense of security in knowing where you are going and in knowing that others have been in the same situation and have followed the same path. We have always had to feel the responsibility, but we have never failed to feel the warm support that has surrounded us, as you have also experienced from the Castle Square at Amalienborg today.
This summer you become a student, so your school days are over; but your apprenticeship only begins here, regardless of what you choose to do. You have good skills, you are physically active and you are aware of your responsibilities. You have empathy, you have always shown that, not least towards your siblings. The good qualities that you possess and the ballast that you bring from home will follow you everywhere.
May your 18th birthday be a good and festive prelude to many good years as you expand your horizons and develop all that lives within you.
Those are my birthday wishes for you today.
May I ask everyone to rise and bring forth a threefold life for Prince Christian!
Crown Prince Frederik’s speech:
Some would say that you are now putting your childhood behind you. My bet is that you will always carry it with you. You will grow and add, but something goes again. Since you were little, you have loved company. Already in kindergarten you were told that you were good at getting everyone involved.
A unifying figure you were called, which made your mother and me Pope proud. You attract people and people attract you. That is why it is also absolutely right to celebrate you by inviting hundreds of young people to the party. It’s your style.
You are yourself with others. It may sound easy, but it is far from it. Not at all when young. Because what do the others think? Do they like me? Am I falling through? Everyone in this room who is or has been young has probably asked themselves those questions. I know I have.
It’s no different for you, but you don’t let the questions change who you are. You are carrying something solid that does not shake easily. A core. I think that’s part of your appeal. Because we like people who dare to show who they are. You dare. Keep doing it.
The daring thing has come creeping in, because you weren’t – if the truth is to be told – not the most fearless child.
You walked forward quietly like a little one. You were curious and observant, but also very careful. You’d rather go an extra lap than plunge headfirst into something unknown.
You, on the other hand, happily passed on the many rounds to your siblings when you became a big brother the first and second time. Isabella, Vincent and Josephine have listened many times when you generously shared your head start in life. You will always have that edge, but be aware that it is experienced less over the years.
We also feel that as parents. Before, you always looked in our direction when there was a question you couldn’t find an answer to. Today, you also look elsewhere – for example, down at your phone. Remember to look up from time to time.
It is only natural that you orientate yourself towards others and other things, because our advantage is also diminishing. We don’t have all the answers anymore. You have to learn your way around – rather than doing what your parents would have done. And even though your mother and I will probably never stop thinking a whole lot, and even though we hope you’ll keep coming to us, you’re going to have to make more and more choices on your own.
If I have to sneak in some good advice, now that I have the chance, it’s that preparation and practice will never hurt again. The two together make up a kind of life pocket knife, which is always good to have in your rucksack. There is no situation where it cannot be used. Preparation and practice give us something to fall back on. So regardless of whether it is:
“New life, new style. New car, new gear”. So remember to keep “that knife perfectly sharp”.
Today marks a transition. Today you embark on the future that you do not choose yourself, but that has been chosen for you. You are obliged. You are the heir to the throne. You are also young and the new in line.
Can you prepare and practice for it? Yes, you can and you do. Does it remove all doubts and all strays? No, by no means. The art is to be able to be with the doubt. As a rule, it evaporates little by little. But sometimes it lingers because it is part of being human. Like the wild roads.
If you lose your bearings, stop, put “Promise me one thing” on the system and hum along to the chorus: “To fail is to learn”. Because it’s not the mistakes that slow us down, but the fear of making them. So fear not, only believe and above all, never be lazy about life.
Being young has never been easy, but something has changed. You and everyone else your age are growing up in the most enlightened time ever. Still, you can get lost in the dark. Far too many young people are under pressure and stressed and struggle to keep their balance in a sea of expectations. We know more than ever before, and yet we have not managed to get rid of the discontent.
There are no simple solutions, and every young person necessarily lives in a new age. Only you know what it’s like to be young right now. That is why we must listen to you.
Søren Kierkegaard said in his time that if you keep going, it will work out. It may sound trite, but conversely, any change depends on movement. An after that differs from a before.
I realize that the possibilities can be so many that they strain each other, but they are also what they are; opportunities. So go with what you can do something about. And invite others to join you.
Any one of you can be something to someone else at any time. You are each other’s railing. Use it! And use us who were young once. Because something is the same. For example, that we best keep our balance by standing close to others – both when things are going well and when things are going badly.
Dear Christian, you carry your childhood with you, but you also add to it all the time. You still check the water depth before you jump. As parents, we are infinitely grateful for that. If it is deep enough, on the other hand, there are no limits to how high you can climb. It sometimes makes your mother nervous, but most of all you make us both proud.
You were born with a responsibility, and it gets a little closer from today. You can’t stay whatever you want. But you can enter the ranks in your own way. Stick to being yourself with others, keep exploring life and pack your backpack right. Then it should go.
Congratulations on your birthday.
“There I was, with high pulse and dry mouth. I got over myself, said "hello", introduced myself to my classmates. They welcomed me and one step at a time I got to know the tone, the routines, the other students. Today it is hard to understand what I was so nervous about.”— ChristinZ (@ChristinsQueens) October 15, 2023
🎥 DR1 pic.twitter.com/0HQjrLRKIS
“There I was, with high pulse and dry mouth. I got over myself, said "hello", introduced myself to my classmates. They welcomed me and one step at a time I got to know the tone, the routines, the other students. Today it is hard to understand what I was so nervous about.”
🎥 DR1 pic.twitter.com/0HQjrLRKIS
Prince Christian’s Speech:
Your Majesties, Your Royal Highnesses, minister, dear family, dear everyone – not least you, who have come two by two from all corners of the kingdom.
It is great for me to stand here today.
Thank you, Grandma, for the kind words and the beautiful celebration.
Thank you, Mom and Dad, for supporting me and being there for me all the way.
And thank you to all the young people who are here today. It feels really good to be surrounded by so many peers.
We are not the same, but we stand in the same place in life. We have something in common. And tonight is new for all of us. That makes it a little easier. And I need that right now.
Last summer I had to start 2nd grade at a new high school. I was nervous. Really nervous. Everyone in my new class had known each other for a year. I was the new him.
So there I was, with a high pulse and a dry mouth, on the threshold of something new. I got over myself, got to say “hello” and introduce myself to my new classmates. They welcomed me and one step at a time I got to know the tone, the routines and the other students. Today it is hard to understand what I was so nervous about.
It happens often; we fear something that lies before us, and as soon as we are past it, it seems completely harmless. I remind myself of that when I get nervous. I reminded myself of that before I had to stand here today.
Because it is great to stand here with the country’s highest order and a special responsibility resting on my shoulders. Fortunately, I don’t have to carry it alone, nor from one day to the next. I am excited, but also comfortable and proud to be part of my family, and I take pride in having to serve my country. So even though I shake my hands a little today, I have my heart in the meeting with the future.
Many of us young people experience that there are high expectations of us. Both from ourselves and from others. To a large extent, expectations become a pressure.
Too many people don’t feel they can live life the way they want to. But in reality we can only be who we are. You may not be the funniest or the smartest in the class, but then you are something else.
We don’t have to be the most or the best to deserve a place. And I say that, even though there are a few handfuls here tonight who are at the very top when it comes to culture and sport.
You are a huge inspiration – and I myself love both watching and playing sport – but I would never get on the field if I demanded of myself that I should be at your level.
Think how much we miss out on if we don’t dare to try new things. We don’t have to be a talent to join in or have fun. We like to practice and go for the win, but we are more than our defeats and victories. No matter what course they take place on.
Of course I want to be the best heir to the throne imaginable, but I’m definitely going to step aside. There might not be holes in my socks on my first official visit … dad … but then it will be something else.
I can’t deliver perfection, because what is perfection anyway, but I can promise dedication. I will give everything I have and learn everything I can.
Dear Mom and Dad, You have always looked after me and Isabella, Vincent and Josephine. Everyone in our family knows that we can turn to each other and find strength right there. If one person is low on energy, there is always someone else in the family who has surplus.
We count on each other because we have always been able to count on you. Like when I had to give a speech to my godson at Berleburg a few months ago. Without a word, you got me up at the right time despite my nerves. You have always both guided and given freedom. You have always given me the opportunity to take one step at a time.
Today is one of those steps. There are many more to come. Because we come of age in one day, but we become adults along the way.
I would like to thank everyone who helped celebrate me. Both you who are here and all of you who have sent greetings and gifts. I will never forget today. But maybe I will remember it as less challenging already tomorrow.
I have to find my way, even if it leads to a familiar place. I have roots in many places in the world and I enjoy traveling. But home will always be here. Because I love my country.
I suggest that we rise together and raise a toast to the Kingdom of Denmark.
At noon, Prince Christian appeared with Queen Margrethe II, Crown Prince Frederik, Crown Princess Mary (wearing the Connaught Sapphire Brooch), Princess Isabella, Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine on the balcony of Frederik VIII’s Palace at Amalienborg to view the Changing of the Guard and wave to the crowds.
There were two further Balcony Appearances, at which just the Crown Princely Family were present, while Prince Christian was joined by Queen Margrethe and Crown Prince Frederik for the third appearance.
Queen Margrethe II has awarded Prince Christian with the Order of the Elephant — Denmark’s highest Order — on his 18th Birthday. Prince Christian will wear the insignia of his late grandfather, Prince Henrik. King Harald V of Norway awarded Prince Christian with the Order of St. Olav, Norway’s Highest Honour.
- At 17.00, Queen Margrethe will host a Gala Dinner at Christiansborg Palace, where, among other things, representatives from a selection of the country’s youth organizations as well as young people who have distinguished themselves in the world of sport, art and culture are invited.
- In addition, the Royal Palace, in collaboration with the country’s municipalities, will invite up to 200 young people from the Commonwealth to participate in the celebration, as each of Denmark’s municipalities as well as Greenland and the Faroe Islands will have the opportunity to select two 18-year-olds to participate in the gala.
- Royal Guests:
- Prince Christian’s godparents include Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, Prince Joachim of Denmark, Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway, and Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece.
- At 9.30, Prince Christian will be in a meeting of the Council of State, where the Prince will make a so-called solemn declaration that he wishes to comply with the constitution.
- Prince Christian will then be able to be appointed as head of state. Prince Christian will not get a seat in the Council of State until a change of throne has taken place.
The Danish Royal Court has also released a series of new photographs of Prince Christian, taken by photographer Franne Voigt, along with the announcement.