DAILY BRIEFINGWedding Eve
May 13 - Sunday, Monday, and half of Tuesday were beautiful days here in Copenhagen. The sun shone, the nordic winds subsided, and the temperatures idled in the seventies (or twenties, depending on your calibration). Then the clouds came, the winds rose, and the temperatures dropped. The weather now sucks, and the forecasts suggest the weather will suck as far into the future as they can see.
This isn't a significant problem. It's spring in Copenhagen. That means the forecasts can't see more than forty-five minutes into the future and they'll be wrong anyway.
Rain or shine, however, the royal wedding goes down tomorrow. The DMG and I will be fighting our way into central Copenhagen to see what we can of it. We're not the type of people that ordinarily enjoy immersing ourselves in massive throngs, but we're making this exception for a number of reasons—not least of them you. As someone aspiring to share life in Copenhagen with my fellow Americans, I feel a duty to "cover" this event—even though it would be more representative of the attitudes of most of the Danes I know to simply roll my eyes and mutter something like, "Yeah, right, as if."
I don't actually believe the Copenhageners who feign disinterest in the royal wedding. Denmark certainly has its perennial malcontents—two of its political parties, for example, declined their invitations to a royal celebration of the happy couple the other night—but they represent only a sliver of the general population.
I think that the cynicism and apathy I've encountered don't have anything to do with Frederik and Mary themselves, or the royal house, but with the sheer tsunami of coverage the event has been receiving. It's too much: the senses break down. But it would be foolish, even dangerous, to assume that a Dane who has told you he's sick of "all this nonsense about the wedding" isn't just as proud and excited as any schoolgirl. (Yes, I've made the politically incorrect assumption that little girls get more excited than little boys about weddings—and I'm sticking to it.)
We're also taking this plunge for the Bean. She's going to be half-Danish, after all, and we'd like to be able to tell her that she attended the royal nuptials—or at least sloshed around the DMG's belly while the DMG herself jostled for position among a hundred thousand deranged royalists. Where the Bean is concerned I suppose we could take the easy way out and lie—I've never been entirely convinced my own mother actually attended the New York World's Fair while she was pregnant with me, for example—but lying is easy, and we'll be lying enough about various other things that wherever we have the opportunity to tell our child the truth about something, it will come as a welcome and refreshing change.
At some point in her life, Frederik will be crowned King of Denmark, and Mary his Queen. The Bean will probably even live to see their eldest son crowned king. And having participated in their wedding even in this very, very stupid way may actually mean something to her. Of course, our girl could just as easily become some kind of rabid, anti-monarchial socialist, in which case we're doing her a valuable service by giving her something richly symbolic to despise about her bourgeois upbringing. Either way.
So yes, we're giddy with anticipation about the wedding tomorrow. The whole nation is giddy with anticipation, but also a sense of exhaustion: "Let them please be married," Denmark sighs, "and let us please move on to other subjects."
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Here are some related links:
MaryAndFrederik.Com (Yes, really.)
The Royal House of Denmark: wedding-related stuff
Map of the post-wedding carriage ride
Today's word is tillykke, meaning congratulations. Tillykke med... means "congratulations on...", and can be followed with anything from "the wedding" (bryllupet) to "the birthday" (fødselsdagen).
Note that, by itself, med doesn't literally translate as "on," but rather "with." With their usual contempt for English prepositional usage, however, the Danes have chosen to accessorize congratulate with with rather than on. I have to cut myself off now before I begin another prepositional rant.
Brits in History
It was on this date in 1568, at the battle of Langside, that Mary Queen of Scots was defeated by the English. Her heroic stand is worthy of remembrance, but it's interesting to speculate how she might have fared if she had brought along some soldiers.
About 200 years later, on May 13, 1787, the first fleet of ships carrying convicted criminals left England en route to a new British prison called Australia.
You'd think that by sending their religious nuts to North America and their criminals to Australia, the British would have created a pleasant little island paradise for themselves. Instead their empire has dwindled away over the past 100 years, while the religious nuts and criminals of the U.S. and Australia have established themselves as major powers at Wimbledon.
Birthdays & So On
Harvey Keitel turns 65 today. He shares his birthday wtih Dennis Rodman (1961), Stevie Wonder (1950), Richie Valens (1941), Joe Louis (1914), Daphne du Maurier (1907), and Empress Maria Theresa (1717).
It's Second Coup d'Etat Day in Comoros.
© 2004, The Moron's Almanac