It would appear Denmark has a new monarch.
Back on New Year's Eve I happened to see the Queen's speech. Normally I don't make a habit of watching it, but I'd been ill all Xmas with some flu-like thing and hadn't been outside so I was lying on the couch when it came on so I just let it roll. It's actually quite a compliment that I bothered given I have never, not even once in my life, seen the UK monarch's Christmas speech! As a good Scottish republican family, I was brought up to know that the one thing you really must never do is sit down to watch old Lizzie address the nation, though I guess it is probably Charlie these days.
I saw the Danish one the first year after I arrived here as my homework for Danish class was to listen to it to see what I understood. Unlike most Danes the old Queen speaks very slowly and clearly and is positively a delight if you're a foreigner, from a comprehension point of view anyway, even if you have your reservations constitutionally! Most foreigners coming here really struggle to understand spoken Danish more than any other form of the language as Danes mumble, swallow the ends of their words and speak quickly. Given I learnt Danish passively by hearing it over many years, understanding spoken Danish is what I find easiest, even today. It definitely outstripped my ability to speak the language back then for sure, but I followed the teacher's instructions as my first lesson on arrival here was the last one before Xmas, only to find out that when I went back in January that I had been moved into a whole different class with a different teacher and completely different homework!
So, there it was running in the background when two minutes from the end of a fairly long and not overly riveting speech she nonchalantly announced she was going to abdicate in a fortnight. This was a bit of a shocker given no one has abdicated in Denmark for 878 years. Denmark went into meltdown. First there was a half hour of shocked silence where people acted like she'd upped and died during her speech but they all seem to worship her the way bees do their queen, so within half and hour the hive mind had collectively decided that if their beloved Daisy had decided to resign then that must be the most wonderful event ever to befall the Danish people and not only would it be ideal for her to step down but it would also be just perfect to see her son and his wife take over the throne two weeks later and they would turn their love and adoration to him as well/instead. Polls on the day said support for the monarchy was up at 80% 😮 (wtaf!) with only one in five Danes having any reservations about spending their hard-earned tax money on this family's luxurious lifestyle, oops I mean service to the nation. Wow, what an interesting take from a country that professes to prize equality over most things. I guess some really are more equal than others...
So last Sunday was the day. I figured I should get into the spirit of being Danish by buying a cake to celebrate the big event. Unfortunately the whole of Funen had the same idea and my favourite prize-winning bakery had already tweeted this before I woke up!
But when it comes to cake I am not that easily defeated, so off to the big Coop bakery in Søndersø I went instead. It was a ghost town, not to mention almost sold out too. There were maybe two cars in the car park, while the rest of Denmark sat glued to the telly or better still in the courtyard of their parliament building waiting for the new monarch to be presented.