There are flutterings from Poor Little Dutch Girl and her ilk regarding the lack of British guests at Queen Margrethe II's birthday party. She sniffed that this was yet another snub by the British monarch because no British royals were present. The guest list for the April 15th dinner was limited to sovereigns and their spouses: King Philippe & Queen Mathilde of the Belgians, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands, King Felipe V and Queen Letizia of Spain, the King Harald V of Norway, King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Siliva of Sweden and Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg,
As the list was sovereigns only, and Queen Elizabeth II was unlikely to attend. She is nearly 89, and her husband, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, will turn 94 in June. The Duke of Edinburgh was scheduled to attend Margrethe's 70th birthday party five years ago, but had to cancel due to Iceland's volcanic ash and the cancellation of flights to, from and within Europe.
As the invitations were only for the heads of state and spouses, Queen Elizabeth II could not send a representative to this party. For the events yesterday -- Margrethe's birthday -- the only European royals invited were from Sweden and Norway: the King and Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Norway and the King and Queen and Crown Princess and Prince Daniel of Sweden. (Queen Sonja of Norway was on an official visit to New York City.)
It is also possible that the British sovereign was not even invited, as Margrethe II knew that Elizabeth II would be sending her regrets. The Prince of Monaco and the Prince of Liechtenstein were not present, and one assumes, they did not receive invitations as they are mere Sovereign Princes, not monarchs.
Grand Duchess Maria Teresa sent her regrets as she was suffering from the flu, which was the same reason, Prince Henrik was unable to be at his wife's side.
It also should be noted that none of Queen Margrethe's nieces and nephews were invited to celebration. Fredensborg is small, and, guests, according to one commentator, was largely limited to the queen's Danish friends.
Thus, hardly a snub from Queen Elizabeth II. On this occasion, she could not send someone to represent her. It must also be said that British sovereigns rarely attend overseas royal events. This has been the policy since Edward VII.
I maintain a list of British representatives at European Royal events.
Since at least 1900, there have been only three European royal events where the British sovereign attended. King George V and Queen Mary attended the wedding of Prince Ernst August of Cumberland (Hanover) to Princess Viktoria Luise of Prussia. In 1962, Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh were guests at Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard's Silver Wedding Celebrations. The visit to the Netherlands was deemed as semi-private, and not official. The most recent event was in 1993, when the Queen and Prince Philip attended the funeral of King Baudouin.
Rather than make snide and ill-informed comments, one should understand that the British follow a different protocol for overseas royal events. The European monarchs understand this protocol. It is highly unlikely that Queen Margrethe II was disappointed. She knows how the British do things. It is accepted, understood. The European royals do not get their knickers in a twist about. One assumes that a nice note of regret was sent.
A British royal puts duty to the country and Commonwealth first and foremost.
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh are at Windsor Castle. On Tuesday, she carried out an Investiture, one of her official duties.
Time for a reality check, Poor Little Dutch Girl, or, at least, a readjustment of her meds.