Prince Harry arrived in Denmark today for the first of his two-day visit to the country, carrying out a slew of engagements in Copenhagen. This mini-tour is seen as yet another stop of the Brexit “Charm Offensive” in which members of the British Royal Family are turning up in various European countries to ensure the seamless continuity of friendly diplomatic relationships.
In March, the Prince of Wales visited Romania, while in April he and the Duchess of Cornwall toured Italy and Austria. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge saw France in March and Poland and Germany in July, while Kate made a one-day stop in Luxembourg in May.
The first engagement of the day saw Harry at the Palace of Amalienborg to officially meet Queen Margrethe II. They posed for photos in one of the building’s public reception rooms. Amalienborg serves the same official function for the Danish Royal Family as Buckingham Palace in London does for the British. Its exterior is particularly stunning and unique, as captured below:
Queen Margrethe is a good friend of Harry’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, and distantly related to the BRF. The photo call lasted only a few seconds before the two chatted privately and then joined a small reception of gathered guests for a meet and greet.
Harry then spent the afternoon moving about the city at various short engagements. The first was with KPH Copenhagen, an organization supportive of entrepreneurs, start ups and small business growth.
One start up that Harry learned about helped Syrian refugees learn the skills they need to flourish in the Danish market – the brief conversation was featured on Kensington Palace’s Twitter account:
Next up was Game Denmark. Frankly, I’m not sure I quite get what this one is all about, so I’ll defer to their own language:
“GAME is a non-profit organization that works with street sports and street culture. We train young people to practice street basketball, street soccer, dance and parkour training in residential areas across Denmark as well as street street houses in Copenhagen and Esbjerg.”
Unfortunately (or fortunately?) the only thing I can think of when I hear “parkour” is the episode from the U.S. version of The Office where they’re all playing in the cold open. Nevertheless, the below clip shows children showing off their stuff, the tweet noting that those suffering from mental health issues benefit from the practice:
In the evening, Harry attended a reception hosted by the British Ambassador at Tivoli Gardens. I don’t know how many of you have had a chance to visit Tivoli, but it’s a large amusement park, featuring games, rides and park area. Opened in 1843, it’s actually one of the oldest still open to the public. I haven’t been in years, but from what I remember I do recall thinking it was both beautiful … and a bit strange to find in the middle of a city.
At the reception Harry met with business, sports and cultural leaders and also made brief remarks in which he highlighted the strong bond between the UK and Denmark. The last bit, I think we have found, is a continuing theme when members of the RF are delivering these speeches.
Harry will spend the night in Copenhagen at a hotel and tomorrow undertake another round of engagements before returning to London. Among them will be a visit in support of veterans with Queen Margrethe’s younger son, Prince Joachim. It’s unclear to me whether Harry will be pictured with Crown Prince Frederik or Crown Princess Mary (if anyone’s heard anything, let me know!).
As for his return, it was noted in the press that Harry was flying private when he – and other members of the RF – often fly commercial for these shorter visits. It raised the possibility for some that he might fly to Toronto tomorrow to tack on a visit to his girlfriend, Meghan Markle, however aides quickly rejected the idea. And maybe that’s true, but I will note this was an issue last year – aides swore Harry was returning to London after a tour and he instead flew to Toronto. I’d be surprised if that happened again given the negative press he got, but you never know…
Moving on to Meghan: With everyone salivating over the possibility of a forthcoming engagement announcement, she’s been all over the press the last few days. Most of the stories are focused on when she’ll make the move to London, which is expected once filming wraps for her television show, Suits. The favored theory right now is that she’ll make the big trip before the end of November, which would allow for an early December announcement.
That’s certainly where I’d put my money too, though a few have pointed out that last weekend’s report that the Queen and Prince Philip are celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary privately (contrary to expectations) allows for the possibility of the announcement getting moved up to late November. Either way, we’re dealing with a matter of weeks and that’s pretty exciting.