Last week, Greenland had a special royal visit from the Danish Royal Family. It was another moment that touched the lives of many.
What do I mean by ‘another moment’, you ask? In Greenland, there are many moments that can consume an entire place.
EVERYONE IS TOUCHED
When big events like the Royal Family Visit take place in lowly populated places such as Greenland, the entire town (or in this case country) celebrates. Many in society are touched. It’s not a life-saving touch but it impresses for a moment. From the caterers who supply good food, to the police who have to traffic the crowds, to the causes that get recognised, to the kids who get to play football with the young royals. This is not to mention the VIPs who get to look glamorous at very special events, and the homeless who receive the leftovers from the fancy meals. Each echelon of society is touched, and everyone knows somebody who went along to the royal vessel Dannebrog for dinner.
FROM 36 TO 16,000
When Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark arrived in the south of Greenland with their four adorable children, Christian, Isabella, Vincent and Josephine, it was a Big Event. They embarked on a seven-day sailing trip from the tiny settlement of Igaliku with a population of 36, to Nuuk, the capital of Greenland with 16,000 inhabitants. When there’s only 36 people who live permanently in Igaliku, you’re sure to get some quality time with Mary and ‘Fred’.
NORMAL PEOPLE GET THEIR MOMENT TOO
The beautiful thing with Greenland is that many normal people also get their moment with the royals – from a handshake, to a smile; a conversation or a meal together. These moments are so much more intimate than if you were in a crowd with a million others. It’s likely a higher percentage of the population were touched by the royals in Greenland on this visit than most others.
ROYALS HAVE THEIR RESPONSIBILITIES
The Royals were very busy during their trip but they still managed to look like they were having fun. In many ways, the Royals have a tough life – they always have to look good and they always need to be happy and courteous. They should always show interest in you – no matter if they have heard your story or question a million times prior.
I had my moment when the Crown Prince and Princess visited Ilisimatusarfik, the University of Greenland with Princess Josephine (Ivalo) and Prince Vincent (Minik). Yep, the young three-year old twins have a soft spot in Greenland’s heart because they have local names.
The Royal Family visited the uni because sponsors of the Ivalo and Minik fund (named after the children) renewed their financial donation for educational opportunities for Greenlanders three years further. It was a fitting occasion to sign while the little royals were present, although they were so tired after a long day (so Mary told me) hehe.
SO WHAT DID WE TALK ABOUT?
Really, not much. I was too embarrassed to be presented, but the Rektor insisted to introduce ‘the fellow Aussie’ to Princess Mary. I have to thank her for that blink-of-an-eye moment. And you know how they say royalty is really good at small talk? That was the case! I didn’t really get much of a chance to ask a question because during the short time I had with Mary and Fred, they were asking me questions. She said to me that life must be so different here; I could have said the same thing for her.
It’s wonderful to live in a small place and experience these moments. Whether it’s a visit from a royal person or world figure, or a TV show such as ICE COLD GOLD, or an event such as the Arctic Winter Games, something significant can affect a great deal of people in the town, financially, socially, or even emotionally. The flip side is that the whole town may mourn if there is a loved one who dies, or if a tragic accident occurs. For now, focusing on the good times.
Have you had a moment with a Royal before? How did it go for you?