It was a right and beautiful day, and the church was filled with people when Her Royal Highness Princess Benedikte of Denmark arrived. She was greeted by Justine with flowers and a perfect curtsy. Goddag, Deres Kongelige Højhed, og velkommen til Den Danske Kirke! The church president, Flemming Christiansen, introduced the princess to the board members present, and then she was accompanied into the church by the president and the pastor. The president welcomed the princess and the pastor gave a brief introduction to the history and current life of the church and its congregation. Also, it was mentioned how the princess’s sister, the Queen, did a few stitches on the altar carpet which was in the making when Her Majesty visited the church in 1991.
The Faux Arts Trio played a segment from a trio by Beethoven, and to end the session in the church, we sang a hymn which the princess’s father, H.M. King Frederik IX was particularly fond of: Mægtigste Kriste. During the last verse, the congregation rose as did the King and it was made custom many years ago.
The princess went on to a small refreshment in the downstairs hall where a number of church goers had the opportunity to meet her. A skillful group of volunteers had surpassed themselves in making the treats for the coffee and served it with much grace to Her Royal Higness and all who were there. The princess praised the bakings, and we could only tell her that this church is indeed renowned for its kitchen!
As the princess was leaving the hall to go outside to the Memorial Walk, she made a speech in which the princess thanked the church for the reception, and she told us she had enjoyed her visit very much.
At the Memorial Walk, the princess was delighted to see how this small piece of Denmark is giving us all a sense of home in the new country. The princess was very impressed with our surroundings and how well our church is kept.
It was a most joyful experience to introduce our church to the princess. Many had taken the opportunity to meet her, and everybody enjoyed the music before Her Royal Higness arrived. Two singers, Lisa Lajeunesse and Elizabeth Brodovitch, accompanied by Lily Yen, got us all into the perfect mood of anticipation to receive the princess. David Thomas and Janet Mowatt also contributed beautifully to the cheer of the audience.
Thank you to the musicians, to the volunteers, and to all who came and made this a very special day in the Danish Church of Vancouver!
Our Library has a dvd of the event.