Queen's New Year speech 2010
New Year's Eve it is customary to look back at the past year. Although I can not do it without first and foremost to say thank you when I remember all the kindness and attention that I received, not least in connection with my 70th day in April. The day has put a light and a joy over the whole year, which has warmed and touched me more than I can say. This happened not only here in Copenhagen on the day itself but I also met around the country wherever I went, alone or with my family and it also came to dominate our visit to the Faroes.
Although we all each one may find much to rejoice in the past year, it has nevertheless been a year dominated by the economic crisis that has hit the world community and thereby the Danish society.
It is worrying, because many have lost their jobs, stores earn less money when customers have less to spend, and crisis global scale means that companies are hit by lower sales both home and away.
Nevertheless, Denmark is among the nations that the crisis has hit less hard.
Throughout the crisis has helped us that we in Denmark have had wealth and savings to eat out. But what we have to resist with is not only our robust material wealth. We are also rich in other ways. We have an entrenched community that we are proud of. It goes far, far back in our history, back to the free constitution, yes, even longer, because the Constitution of 1849 can just be seen as a confirmation of a community that already existed.
Community is a strong quality that we must estimate and which we need when times are less favorable. Together we must use our ingenuity, our hard work and creative power. These are characteristics we can draw on when we seek to pry us out of crisis grips.
When we see how others are becoming better, we must not let ourselves be intimidated by it, but let it be a spur for us. We must not content ourselves with what we once were proficient, but still use the mix of individualism and unity that has brought us far.
Crises and difficult times, Denmark has known many over the years, but we got through them together, and all have been involved.
But is there in these years indicate that we have become more selfish, that we have been prone to first and foremost to call in and make sure that we each get what we ourselves believe to be entitled to? Are we becoming distrustful towards each other and give each other less benign motives?
So it is not only an economic crisis we find ourselves, then it is our attitudes that is about to get slippage. It is a crisis coming stealthy and can poison our relationships with each other. So we are putting something at risk, which may be irreparable.
The crisis, so to speak, can be measured and weighed, as one can quantify and graph curves are not nearly as serious as if it is our values and attitudes that falters. The economic crisis we now face in, we'll find our way out of the short or longer term, but we need out of it with decency intact and without putting the community at risk.
Over the past few generations, society has evolved such that we can live more safely, economically and socially. We have become accustomed to freely pick and choose the size of the fine print. We've got it so well that we almost forgot that our choices also have consequences and that not all of life's conditions can be selected on or off.
We human beings live in mutual dependence. It is true today, as yesterday, and at all times. Earlier, it was perhaps more evident when people lived in small villages, where many tasks had to be solved jointly, and when several generations often lived under the same roof, and all had their tasks to perform for each other. It was a relationship that was obvious to everyone. Today we left for society to cope with many of the obligations that were once each individual task. Often it goes so far that we completely forget or overlook the fact that the society is really ourselves, and that it does not work if we do not each make an effort and feel a commitment to both our loved ones, as for those we do not run on a daily basis.
We have achieved a freedom to shape our own life that previous generations have never known similar, and we estimate at. But we should also remember that no one can fend for themselves alone. Therefore, we must also beware of the society which we know as a safe setting for personal development, and having eyes and ears and hearts open to our fellow man.
On the last evening when so many gather with family and friends, we must not forget those who may celebrate the New Year far from here. Particularly I think of our soldiers in Afghanistan. They are placed on a task that is extremely difficult and dangerous, but they perform the targeted and responsible and with great courage. Both they and their relatives at home must be in our thoughts tonight. It can be hard to sit at home while your girlfriend is far away in dangerous environments. From the Crown Prince, who shortly before Christmas has visited our soldiers, I know that they go to their tasks with both seriousness and boldness, and that they are aware that the powers them.
Nevertheless, our efforts in Afghanistan, a high price: many young Danes have been killed this year. Let us remember them tonight and think of their relatives, their friends and comrades who are now sitting back with the missing.
Some of our soldiers have returned home badly wounded, and others are labeled mentally by their experiences. For all of them that they deserve all our care and recognition. In the fall I had the opportunity to meet some of our wounded soldiers during their rehabilitation at University Hospital. They all show a spirit and an incredible will to overcome their disabilities, which made a big impression on me, and which can only arouse admiration.
I send my New Year greetings to all Danish men and women working for our safety and security within the Armed Forces, Fire Brigades and Police. I want a good new year for all of you at home and abroad, wherever you are.
By New Year my thoughts, as always, to the Danish south of the border. They are part of our Danish community. The band has never been broken, we are proud.
Each year it is a pleasure for Prince Consort and me to come visit around the country. This year we went also to the Faroe Islands, and this summer we are planning a longer visit to Greenland with the Danish flag. It seems we pay much attention to, and when tonight I send my New Year wishes to the Faroe Islands and Greenland, I also thank you for the confidence placed in me and my family in both Greenland and the Faroe Islands and the heat tape, which I feel bind us together.
For my family and myself, 2010 was a good year with many pleasures. Now we look forward to the new year with great anticipation, not least for the growing family, which we expect in January. It warms and welcomes us all to feel the warm interest which meets us from all sides, wherever we go.
In good times, we must remember that prosperity is not a foregone conclusion and that there are always some for whom everyday life can be cramped. When times are bad, we must not forget our good mood and that a smile helps to carry us through everyday, even when it is gray.
So let's meet the new year with confidence and let's show each other confidence in its level in the fine print. It must be my wish for year 2011.
GOD PRESERVE DENMARK