Ming the Mechanic:
Royal Wedding

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 Royal Wedding2004-05-14 17:12
17 comments
picture by Flemming Funch

Today the Danish Crown Prince Frederik got married to Australian Mary Donaldson. Or, rather, from now on she is Crown Princess Mary.

Of course, nowadays monarchy is sort of old fashioned, royalty has no real power, and it is in danger of being completely irrelevant. But Denmark is not only the oldest kingdom in continous existence, the royals also happen to be unusually popular and well fitting their jobs. Queen Margrethe II is smart, articulate and artistic. She paints and designs stamps and costumes for theatre performances. She can sometimes be found walking around town like an almost normal person, even while much of her life is occupied with stiff public ceremonies.

Little of the kind of dirt and scandals that plague royalty elsewhere is found in Denmark. They're just a mostly positive and harmless focal point. The two sons of Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik (who's French), Frederik and Joachim, are extremely well educated and enthusiastic representatives for their country. Joachim is married to Princess Alexandra who's from Hong Kong. And now Frederik finally got around to finding the right person. Which is no easy task when all the interests of the country and the monarchy need to be weighed against each other. Some royals decide to just go their own way, whatever public opinion thinks about it. But in Denmark they take it very seriously. Meaning that even though they no longer have to marry only members of the aristocracy, they still have to choose well. So, even know it has been known for a long time that Frederik and Mary were an item, nothing was officially admitted before everything checked out all around. And before Mary already could speak Danish.

We were glued to the screen all day. Luckily the Danish TV2 had a splendid video feed of 225kbits/s, which was almost as good as seeing it on TV. It was an elaborate fairy tale arrangement, of course, with much pomp and circumstance, carriage rides, parades, fancy dinner, wedding waltz, etc. And they just finished the fireworks


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17 comments

16 May 2004 @ 04:33 by fleer : it is oldfashioned
and not something that I think is compatible with democracy.

Basicly when people celebrate the Kings and Queens they celebrate their ancestors ability to stay in power with all means necessary including wars under the influence of Macchiavelli. It is a celebration of bloodshed and medieval power mongers that is so far away from what a real democracy should be.

Or rather what a new spiritual guided democracy should be. Without the tools of power. Sounds like anarchy to you? But it isn´t.

It would be the start of a {link:http://www.newciv.org/ncn/weare.html|New Civilisation} ;)  



16 May 2004 @ 06:01 by ming : Kings and Queens
Yeah, I don't think either that it has much to do with democracy. Then again, it doesn't have a whole lot to do either with what kings used to be. I.e. essentially the most ruthless warlord who managed to turn everybody else into their subjects through war, and who then tries to keep the power within their family.

But despite that it is now both rather irrelevant to how a society is run, and it goes against how I think it should be run, I find myself still enjoying watching the royals, and even having a certain pride in them being good representatives for their country. It is a rather self-contradictory thing.

It is also a bit of a parallel reality. At that wedding were royals and aristocracy from places that no longer exist. From Yugoslavia, Iran, Russia, princesses of Prussia, etc. Without even any recognized position at all at this point. But they still keep the game going on.  



17 May 2004 @ 09:54 by fleer : Guess
I´ve read a lot of Thomas Paine.... he he...

But I have nothing against people showing their joy and love publicly like the Crown prince and his wife. But the basicly it is by my definition uncompatible in a truly 100 % democracy. (Not that Denmark is not these days..) But the royals sitting at the end of the Government council once a week is something taken out of the last century. And I think it somehow - kind of - gives a different attitude of power in a Democracy. It becomes too special and too important. It´s very difficult to even gain access to non sensitive government documents here in Denmark. We don´t have the same openness like the Freedom of information act in the US. Each official from local, regional and goverment bodies have very wide power as to what documents should be available. And that´s a huge problem for a democracy. You don´t have the ability to check and hold people responsible if you don´t know the documents exists in the first place. And I think that part of the problem is the remains of a official mentality where up to 1913 an official had to have complete loyalty towards the royal family.

And now nearly a century later that spirit is still very much alive. And it cannot be changed by simply a new and wider Danish Freedom of information act. The split has to be more and in my point of view without the Danish monacy.  



21 May 2004 @ 14:39 by ming : QTVR Pictures
Anyway, as to those old fashioned princes and princesses, there are QTVR pictures {link:http://www.panoramas.dk/fullscreen3/f20.html|here} from the wedding.  


29 Jun 2004 @ 04:07 by pamela @202.83.87.33 : name of hymn
could you please tell me the name of the Danish wedding waltz  


29 Jun 2004 @ 04:48 by ming : Wedding Waltz
Well, in Danish it is normally just called "Brudevalsen", which just means "Bridal Waltz" or "Waltz of the Bride". And that is actually the name of the music, which is by Niels W. Gade and from a ballet called "Et folkesagn" (roughly "A Fairy Tale"). Written in 1854.  


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Some people ssguegt that while education, increasing prosperity and literacy cause total fertility rates to fall, a combination of egalitarian gender roles (i.e. men helping out with the kids and dishes) and flexible labour markets allowing women to leave work for a few years and still have a chance of finding a job convince women to have the second or third kid that they want to have anyway. Nations with more traditional gender roles like Italy and Japan or more rigid social programs which try to force women to stay "empowered" in full time work whether they want to or not, seem to have gone to lower total fertility rates than even other industrial nations. In other words, the demographic transition between high and low birth rates as a population gets educated and prosperous can be mitigated by gender equality and liberty in the labour market. Liberty and equality are not things that Islamic culture excels at and it could end up being a hard transition for them to keep their birth rates up in the face of 3 generations of modern living. But then, that is just a proposed theory at the moment. More research needs to be done.  


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