Danish Royal Visit to South Africa


19 - 21 October 2015

About Denmark

Denmark is a Northern European country, which – together with Sweden and Norway – forms part of the cultural region of Scandinavia. The Kingdom of Denmark is a sovereign state that comprises Denmark and two autonomous constituent countries in the North Atlantic Ocean: the Faroe Islands and Greenland. Denmark has an area of 43,094 square kilometres, and a population of roughly 5,6 million people. Denmark is a constitutional monarchy whose monarch is currently Queen Margrethe II. The current Prime Minister of Denmark is Mr Lars Løkke Rasmussen of The Liberal Party.

Danes enjoy a high standard of living and the country ranks highly in numerous comparisons of national performance, including education, health care, protection of civil liberties, democratic governance, prosperity and human development. Denmark is frequently ranked as one of the happiest countries in the world in cross-national studies of happiness. In addition, the country ranks as having the world's highest social mobility, a high level of income equality, has one of the world's highest per capita incomes, and has one of the world's highest personal income tax rates. Denmark was also the home of Hans Christian Andersen – the author behind such fairy-tales as The Ugly Duckling and The Little Mermaid.

A modern day fairy-tale is Danish companies’ contributions toward combatting climate change, water waste and food shortage. In South Africa around 40% of the wind-sector is driven by Danish wind-companies and the largest biogas-facility in the country is powered by Danish solutions. As described by the Mail and Guardian, Denmark is leading the way towards a future free of fossil fuels.

The close ties between South Africa and Denmark have a long history. Denmark took a strong stand in the struggle for democracy and as such was the first country to unilaterally impose trade sanctions on the regime. Post-apartheid, Denmark supported South Africa’s re-entrance into the global community. In 1996 the Danish Queen Margrethe II visited South Africa and in 1999 Nelson Mandela visited Denmark.

The Danish Monarchy

His Royal Highness (H.R.H.) The Crown Prince of Denmark Frederik André Henrik Christian was born on 26 May 1968 in Denmark. H.R.H. The Crown Prince is the son of Her Majesty (H.M.) Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and H.R.H. Prince Henrik of Denmark. The Crown Prince is in line to succeed to the throne and is the regent when H.M. The Queen is out of the country.

The Danish Monarchy traces its roots to Gorm the Old (d. 958), making it more than 1000 years old and one of the oldest monarchies in the world. The current Royal House, the House of Glücksborg, is tied by marriage to most of the royal families of Europe and celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2013.

Although absolute monarchy was abolished with the adoption of the Danish constitution on 5 June 1849, the monarch is still formally responsible for signing all Acts of Parliament and for formally appointing a new government. More than 150 years after the introduction of democracy, the Royal House still enjoys widespread popularity and approval among the Danes.

To read more about the Crown Prince, the Danish Monarchy, and the Royal Family see kongehuset.dk