Your Majesties. Your Royal Highnesses.
Your Highnesses. Excellences. Ladies and gentlemen. Family and friends. All the things I would like to say.
All the things I could say. All the things I shouldn’t say. And all the things there is room to say.
50 years old today. Father of four. Naval Special Force Soldier. Art lover. Music lover. Military man. Sportsman. My man.
Business ambassador. Son. Adventurer.
Greenland explorer. Brother. And a good friend.
How does one in words capture a person like you? Without leaving out too much of what makes you, you… I have pondered over this many times as this day has approached. You are a person of many dimensions. Complex and straightforward at the same time. You come in many guises so to speak.
You are in constant movement. Nevertheless, you stand firm. By being in constant movement, you, if any, are a person who truly knows yourself. You are yourself. It takes courage – and time – to find oneself. You have done so and you continue to do so. You have trod your own path since
you were a very young child, – – despite the fact that your course in life had
been charted in many ways, – and at times you encountered opposition
and particular expectations along the way. You have always pushed the boundaries
and you have insisted – on shaping the world around you to fit the person,
and have not allowed the structures in that world to define you. Your passion has been your compass.
You have lived by your father’s approach to life: That in the unconventional and in the
surprising there is often a hidden treasure. You meet people with a directness
and an openness – that gives you access to hearts and
minds in an extraordinary manner. Your impact on people is unique. And I really don’t think that you
realize that you have this gift. You can talk to anyone and you believe
that we all can contribute, – that we can always learn from each other
because we all have different perspectives. You perceive people as connected despite differences. And the greater the number of perspectives,
the greater the potential. You take pleasure on the success of others. You are a positive person – – and you are easily moved to laughter. And you are not stingy with your laughter… or your jokes for that matter. And often the two come together;
you always laugh (a lot) at your own jokes. And I have quite simply lost count – of the times I had to hear you
tell the same jokes over and over again. It is as if you are trying to continuously
perfect how they are delivered… Those who have had the pleasure of eating
out with you, will know, for example, – that if a waiter asks, “Are you finished?”, – – you can be dead certain that
you will answer, “No, no, I’m Danish”. Every time.
And laugh. Every time. “To dare is to lose one’s footing for a moment. Not to dare is to lose oneself.” With these words you invited me
into your world and the world of the Danes, – -after we had only known each other for a short time. And there were, indeed, many unsure
steps when we started our common journey, – – side by side and separated
at one and the same time. We dared to lose that part of our hearts, – which we allowed the other to hold in their hands. It takes courage to dare, but without
daring we lose what could have been. I am so happy that you swept me off my feet – and that we dared to fall for each other
– not for a moment, but for life. And life with you is never boring. As I have already said:
You come in many guises. We never know if you’ll come
through the door dressed in uniform, – a business suit, a wetsuit,
or as a “Mamil”. For those of you who are not familiar with the concept “Mamil”. I can tell you that it is an English term – – now officially recognised in the Oxford English Dictionary for a growing sub-culture – of “Middle-aged men in lycra, who
ride expensive racing bicycles, – wearing professional style
body-hugging jerseys and shorts.” Opinions differ as to whether lycra and men
that are 40 plus are a good combination. And in this case, we are actually
talking about 50 plus. But darling, you still look rather sharp in lycra. I do, however, find it a bit difficult when it comes to the combination of lycra, helmet, and roller skis. And when you and your teammates for
your first Vassaloppet – decided to participate wearing a white lycra… To be brutally honest…
it simply didn’t work. And I believe you could see
it yourself afterward. You challenge yourself physically, and you definitely don’t compromise when it comes to gear. You have demonstrated physical strength, yes, but behind that lies an incredible mental strength. You have an iron will which most people have
witnessed from your physical accomplishments. – As I see it, you carry this mental
strength with you, in all aspects of life. You find great satisfaction in pushing
your physical and mental limits. You live by the motto “it is the will to
want that fosters the ability to do” – and you have passed that on
to me and our children: The conviction that we can if we want
– no matter the expectations. Lycra or not. I got to know you in shorts and T-shirt, – – and I remember very clearly the first
time you changed from casual to gala. It was during my first visit to Denmark where
we had celebrated our first New Years together. I was sitting on the couch in your
living room when you said – that you should get ready for dinner,
a dinner that is always held on 1st of January. At that time, – I really didn’t know
so much about that part of your world. So, I didn’t give it much thought. You left the room, as the man I knew,
and came back in full gala uniform. And if I had known Danish at the time, – I would probably have thought to myself
“aij, hvor har jeg scoret over evne”
(wow – I’ve really scored above my league). It was suddenly a very different image
of you that was new to me. Deeply impressive and daunting at the same time.
But your eyes and your smile were the same. Gala or not.
And that’s the way you are. You have found the roots of your being by making a diversion from your Childhood Street (ref. text from a Danish song and novel) – – by going your own way. You are a determined person.
You go after what you set your sight on. And you usually succeed. And according to your children,
you are also a very successful father. They describe you as sweet, fun,
wonderful, wise, brave, helpful, cool and handsome. You’re their everything. They describe you as being true
to yourself and your beliefs are not easily changed. They know that you believe in them –
also when they doubt themselves. You encourage them to believe in themselves. And when on the rare occasion you get cross,
you quickly put it behind you, just as your father did. They know nothing better than
being together with you – it is not a matter of what you
do together, but that you are together. You allow yourself to be carried away by our children. You easily find your inner child
and your children love it – when that side of you takes
over through imagination, play, and games. But you should also know that
they think you are a bad loser. And they agree that Vincent is the
one who has inherited this trait strongest from you. For me, it is in our family moments – that I feel most grateful, most united, most in love. Sometimes we hit the target without even aiming.
That is what I think of our first meeting. A stroke of good luck that became a choice.
We have become so close by giving each other space. And you, in particular, have supported
me in finding a foothold and my way – – in the world that was yours
and is now ours. You love your country
and you have long ago imparted this love to me. So much that I’m deeply moved when I sing: “I Danmark er jeg født, der har jeg hjemme” (“In Denmark, I was born, this is my home”). Well aware that although I’m at home
here, I belong here, I was not born here… My own explanation is that our roots continue to grow throughout our lives. We can always find our home. I started my speech by asking: How does one in words capture a person like you? The answer is:
You simply cannot. You can dare to walk together. On our wedding day, you invited me to come and to see – what awaited us in love, and
I have loved every step and every view. Of all the things I have chosen to say, – – I choose to finish with the words
from another beautiful song: Congratulations! I love you.