Her Majesty The Queen’s New Year Address 2022.
It is New Year again. It is celebrated throughout the world – but not at the same time – not at this moment.
Right now, they are celebrating in Asia. Very soon the new year reaches Europe and Denmark, and tonight it continues its course towards America. It will come full circle. All over the world people’s lives are connected, for better or for worse. It has rarely been clearer than these days.
On 24 February, Ukraine was attacked. It is outrageous to witness the sufferings of the Ukrainian people. They are fighting heroically for their freedom. It makes a great impression on all of us.
Many Ukrainians have arrived in Denmark after the outbreak of the war, and the Danes have given them a warm welcome. Many have opened their home, workplace, football club – and their hearts. When we help each other, we bring light to darkness. It is the least we can do.
Many of the refugees are women and children. Naturally, they are deeply worried about family members left behind, but despite that, many of them have a strong wish to be able to provide for themselves and to establish the most normal everyday life possible for their children. Naturally, they all hope to be able to return home as soon as possible.
My first New Year greetings tonight go to the Ukrainians in Denmark and to the entire Ukrainian people. May this terrible war come to an end and may your proud and beautiful country flourish again.
The war is casting long shadows. When energy prices, food prices, and the rent increase, how are we then to make ends meet? We must all consider how to address the problems. For some it is probably a matter of putting on a thick sweater, but for many it means serious financial problems.
This brings back memories of the inflation and the energy crises of the 1970s. As was the case then, many companies feel under pressure. The hard times then meant that it was necessary to act and perform in new ways, and for a time new habits were adopted; but the hurdles were overcome, and society moved on. We will manage this time, too; but we must be prepared to exercise patience and assist each other.
Tomorrow on 1 January, it is 50 years ago that Denmark became part of the EC, The European Community. This was the name of the European cooperation at that time.
The dream was of a Europe where peaceful agreements would make trade flourish and where war and destruction would be a matter of the past. After the Fall of the Berlin Wall the future looked even brighter, but the wars in the Balkans in the 1990s cast new shadows over our optimistic expectations. Now, once again, a war is raging in Europe, and we all feel the consequences. But our countries stand together in helping the Ukrainians in their fight for freedom.
These days, events abroad impact on us very directly. But we can also impact on what happens beyond our borders.
In turbulent times, a small country like Denmark may play a more significant role than would appear at first sight. Small countries are less characterised by special interests and may therefore better present arguments for what we find right and important. In September, the Crown Prince and Crown Princess participated in the UN General Assembly in New York. There we stated that Denmark is interested in making a special contribution for peace and security by once again taking a seat in the UN Security Council.
It is understandable that many are concerned about what the world will look like in the future – not least young people, because the future is theirs.
Every generation sees the world as new. The fact that parents find the next generation spoilt is no novelty – “Take it easy. Your time will come” – that is probably what the young have been told throughout the ages.
Right now, it is almost as if the roles have been reversed: today it is young people who are indignant about their parents’ generation and make demands on them.
Sometimes the tone can be harsh. But it is only natural that the young are questioning their parents’ way of life. It is also healthy. It gives everyone food for thought.
Does material life play too large a role? Have we overexploited the natural resources? And what about climate change? These are unpleasant questions. They are unpleasant because the younger generation to a large extent probably are right!
The difference between young and elderly people need not be a generational gap. It may act as a bridge to new insights. And bear in mind that it is possible to cross the bridge in both directions.
Also the older generations have something to pass on. The experience they possess must not be thrown overboard. Then perhaps we will all gain a better understanding of each other – and of life!
Here in Denmark, this year – 2022 – brought us great sporting events. When the signal was given for the start of the Tour de France in Denmark, the entire world watched it. The Danish cyclists made a good impression. So did the Danish spectators, young as well as old. What an expression of public rejoicing with Dannebrog flags and cheering crowds everywhere!
It all culminated in Paris with a Dane on the Tour podium; an achievement that filled Danish hearts with great emotions.
Denmark has also achieved outstanding results in badminton and tennis on the international sports scene. Congratulations!
We are proud of our elite athletes and rightly so; but let us not forget the many other sports people of all ages to whom sport is an important part of their lives. Some prefer to exercise alone whereas many practise athletics in the local club or association whose existence depends on deep involvement among sport leaders, coaches, and many volunteers. It takes perseverance, enthusiasm, and heart and soul. Many hours are spent on planning and preparation, and once the starting signal is given, it is the release of powerful emotions. Every year more and more people join Royal Run – what started as a celebration of the Crown Prince’s 50th birthday has now become a recurrent event, which people feel enthusiastic about throughout the country.
Another source of pride for us all and a source of inspiration – especially among young researchers – is the award of the Nobel Prize in chemistry to a Danish scientist. Congratulations on the prestigious award!
In a year when a war is raging in Europe, we owe a special gratitude to those who protect us – both at home in Denmark and in many places worldwide.
In the Baltic countries alone, hundreds of Danish soldiers celebrate Christmas and New Year far from home.
My warmest New Year greetings go to all those Denmark has posted abroad, wherever they are in the world, and to their loved ones, for whom their absence is particularly heartfelt during the holiday season and now at New Year.
I also send my greetings and thoughts to the Danes in South Schleswig. In times of unrest, our border country is an outstanding example of how different languages, cultures, and traditions can live peacefully side by side. Both the Danish and German minorities can take pride in this. I wish everybody a happy New Year.
The unstable global situation is also noticeable in the North Atlantic and the Arctic. Both in the Faroe Islands and in Greenland they follow the development in a state of suspense as we do here in Denmark. The democratic values and the cohesion of our peoples are strong. That is perhaps more important than ever.
I send my warmest New Year wishes to everybody in the Faroe Islands and to everybody in Greenland.
My New Year greetings also go to all Danes abroad who for short or lengthy periods of time perform their duties under distant skies. They stay faithful to their Danish heritage and Danish values. A happy New Year to everyone.
It fills me with a deep sense of gratitude that during the year so many have wished to celebrate the 50th anniversary of my accession to the throne and have supported the events that have taken place. Thank you for the many greetings I have received, thank you for the happy smiles I have met everywhere. Thank you for the support for our country and for the love that surrounds me and my family. This is something that gives all of us strength both in everyday life and when problems arise.
For most of us, our family is one of the most important things in life. We see how our children develop, and how they tackle life’s challenges each in their own way. We are happy for them, we worry about them, and we wish for them to do well.
I always feel great love for my entire family. Difficulties and misunderstandings may arise in any family, also in mine. The whole country has witnessed that.
That the relationship with Prince Joachim and Princess Marie has run into difficulties makes me sad.
We have now had a quieter period and time for reflection, and I am sure that our family can embark on the new year together with confidence, understanding, and new courage.
After the coronavirus has released its grip on society, the Crown Prince and the Crown Princess have had plenty to do once again with a full programme. They have looked forward to this and have thrown themselves into the task with great enthusiasm.
All my eight grandchildren are a source of great joy to me. How they have grown, how time flies! Next October, Prince Christian will turn 18. It will be a special day, which we are all looking forward to.
Tonight is New Year’s Eve. A year has passed – a year with many joyful events, but also a year characterised by tensions, unrest, and economic challenges.
It is my wish and hope for the new year that people may live in peace and harmony again, and that the joy of life may prevail again. We must all contribute to that.
GOD BLESS DENMARK