Her Majesty Queen Margrethe of Denmark and The Crown Prince concluded a State Visit to Argentina from 18 to 20 March 2019.
The importance of an official state visit cannot be stressed enough. This strategic tool is used to further strengthen bonds between countries or to establish as well as to grow new bonds, trade and synergy. What does however set apart a royal state visit is the longevity of relationships it brings.
A Monarch, however, symbolises a nation rather than a leader or a political party. As such, the deals struck, relationships built and ties formed outlast political parties and democratic rule. The Queen can utilize her status, position and popularity in order to help grow the relationship between nations as well as to stimulate business and trade.
Recently, Her Majesty Queen Margrethe and His Royal Highness The Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark set out to Argentina for exactly this purpose.
With a jam-packed schedule, the Danish Royals started the State Visit To Argentina in Argentina’s capital Buenos Aires. Following which, they concluded an official visit to the triangle area of Tandil, Necochea and Tres Arroyos.
State Visit To Argentina Schedule
Sunday, 17 March 2019
14:30 pm – Arrival at Cementerio Recoleta
During her first day of the state visit her Majesty the Queen visited the historic Cementerio de la Recoleta cemetery. This world-renowned attraction might house more than 90 cemetery tombs which are considered historical monuments but it goes far beyond historical importance. The
Cementerio de la Recoleta cemetery has also been voted as one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the world.
After having strolled through this beautiful landmark, Her Majesty visited the handicrafts fair in the Recoleta neighbourhood in Buenos Aires where she saw the artistic side of the community first hand.
18:30 pm – Dinner at HE Ambassador Søren Vøhtz and fr. Sofia Vøhtz Rosenbaum
Later that evening the Queen was received at a formal embassy dinner at the Danish Embassy. Here she was hosted by His Excellence the Danish Ambassador Søren Vøhtz and his wife fr. Sofia Vøhtz Rosenbaum.
Monday, 18 March 2019
12:00 pm – Wreath placement ceremony at Plaza San Martín
The official State Visits started on Monday the 18th of March at midday with an official wreath-laying ceremony at Plaza San Martín. Her Majesty was received by Argentina’s Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie and the Chief of Military Guard upon arrival.
This exquisite monument stands in honour of the national hero José de San Martín. General San Martín is a symbol of Argentina’s independence and Argentine civil rights.
12:30 pm – Official welcome at the Presidential Palace
Shortly after the wreath-laying ceremony Queen Margrethe II of Denmark was escorted to the Presidential Palace. Here the Queen was welcomed and received by the Argentine President Mauricio Macri and his wife First Lady Juliana Awada.
13:00 pm – Official state Lunch at the Presidential Palace
The morning of the first day was ended off with a state luncheon at the Presidential Palace during which the Queen made a brief speech.
15:15 pm – Visit to Argentina’s Congress
After lunch, the first engagement of the afternoon saw both the Queen and the Crown Prince visit the El Palacio del Congreso de la Nación Argentina, Argentina’s Congress.
The image above shows the Queen and the Crown Prince (from the left) together with the Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen, chairman of the Deputy Chamber Emilio Monzó, Vice President Gabriela Michetti and Chairman of the Senate Federico Pinedo.
During the visit to the Congress, Her Majesty and His Royal Highness wrote in the guest book of the two chambers.
16:00 pm – Visit to Argentina’s Supreme Court
After her visit to the El Palacio del Congreso de la Nación Argentina, the Queen travelled to Argentina’s Supreme Court. Here she was met with an honorary guard at the building’s entrance.
During her tour of the institution, the Queen was escorted by the Supreme Court President Carlos Rosenkrantz and the Supreme Court Vice President Elena Highton.
16:00 pm – Visit to the energy group YPF
The Crown Prince visited the energy group YPF accompanied by environment and food minister Jakob Elleman-Jensen. YPF is one of Argentina’s most important energy companies, which in recent years has started a green transition. The Crown Prince’s visit is the start of a collaboration between YPF and Danish energy companies.
19:00 pm – Network reception in Yacht Club Argentino
The first day’s official engagements ended with a Danish-Argentinian network reception at the Yacht Club Argentino, which is located next to Buenos Aires’ major harbour promenade. Here, business people and representatives from both Denmark and Argentina met. There were 30 Danish companies represented in the trip where they had the opportunity to introduce their businesses to Argentinian companies and vice versa.
Both the Queen as well as well as the Crown Prince was in attendance for the event.
Tuesday, 19 March 2019
10:45 am – Business conference in Kirchner Cultural Center
The next morning of the State Visit To Argentina started off with His Royal Highness the Crown Prince of Denmark attending the opening of a business conference between Danish and Argentine companies.
During the engagement, hosted at the Kirchner Cultural Center, Prince Frederik attended the signing of cooperation between Danish and Argentine media as well as a panel debate.
The business conference saw many VIPs and dignitaries in attendance which included Argentina’s Finance Minister Nicolás Dujovne. Later in the morning, Her Majesty the Queen attended and officiated the official opening of the conference. Here she made a speech and highlighted the advantages of doing work with Danes and the Danish people.
The Queen’s Speech
Honourable Ministers, Excellencies, Distinguished Guests,
as part of the Danish State. It is particularly exciting to be here at a time when Argentina is increasingly opening up for international partnerships based on investment and business opportunities. This also includes Danish companies.
Relations between Argentina and Denmark are deep-rooted and broad. In 1841, Denmark and Argentina signed their first diplomatic protocol. Argentina had recently won her independence, and through the protocol, Denmark attested to the sovereignty of Argentina.
A few years later, a Danish citizen and teacher by the name of “His Bird” set out for Argentina and came to pioneer in this country. He settled in the region south of Buenos Aires. Here he became known as “Juan Fugl”. He contributed immensely to the founding and development of the village of Tandil, where a statue of him stands today. Juan Fugl is a prominent example of the many Danes who came to Argentina in the 19th century. They brought a rich cultural heritage from Denmark, and they brought an entrepreneurial and technical knowledge that benefited the prosperity of both themselves and their surroundings.
Although these historical events occurred more than 150 years ago, I believe that they still carry importance for us today. The cultural ties between our countries are strong and alive, and they bring us closer together as nations. The forces of entrepreneurship are also today strong in both Danish and Argentine business communities, increasing prosperity on both sides.
Today, business relations between Denmark and Argentina are particularly strong within agro-business and food production, within sustainable energy and water solutions, and within health.
Danish food production technology has been implemented and installed in Argentina during the past many years. Especially within the dairy and poultry sectors, the levels of that technology are very advanced. And many of the Danish companies present here have contributed to developing the Argentine food industry in general.
That is a very positive outcome of a fruitful commercial cooperation, which we also see unfold within the field of sustainable energy and water solutions.
Argentina and Denmark are both partners to the international efforts for sustainable development, focused on renewable energy, energy efficiency and caring for the environment, as we share the responsibility for our future generations and our planet.
In Denmark, we have experienced that effective energy policies can indeed be carried out with support from the private sector. We have experienced that such an approach has allowed us to set ambitious goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and mitigating the effects of climate change. And it is our experience that ambitious green goals can go hand-in-hand with business prosperity and economic growth in general.
Yesterday, The Crown Prince had the chance to visit YPF, the biggest energy company in Argentina. YPF is part of a sector that continuously works with the newest technologies in order to achieve the best possible results on energy efficiency. Fortunately, international cooperation can go a long way in making sure that new technologies and best practices are shared. And Danish companies stand ready to cooperate and contribute to solve challenges in Argentina.
Within health, Danish companies are already prominently present here in Argentina. They are contributing to better services and higher quality in the health sector.
The presence of 30 Danish companies as well as leading Danish business associations during this State Visit bears testimony to the great Danish commercial interest in Argentina in general. The Danish business delegation represents an important pool of knowledge and innovative solutions to some of the challenges faced by Argentina today. I am equally delighted to see today that so many Argentine business representatives reciprocate the strong interest from Denmark.
I believe that the business conference today offers a unique opportunity to explore opportunities for creating and further strengthening investment and business partnerships. This will be of mutual benefit to Argentine and Danish companies, and it will contribute to increased prosperity of our two nations.
With these words, I would like to wish you all a productive and fruitful day.
The Kirchner Cultural Center is located in the historic buildings that previously formed the framework of Argentina’s central post office. The business conference took place on the building’s top floor, but the Crown Prince had the opportunity to visit the building’s basement, where the old mailboxes can still be seen.
11:30 am – Visits to the Danish stands at the business conference
The Queen and Crown Prince visited the Danish companies’ stands at the business conference.
12:45 pm – Visit at the business sector’s three sector
The Crown Prince visited the business sector’s three-sector tracks in the field of sustainability, health and food and agriculture.
13:50 pm – Visit at Parque de la Memoria
Later in the afternoon, Queen Margrethe visited the Parque de la Memoria, a park memorialized to the victims of the “dirty war” in Argentina. During her visit, Her Majesty met with the “Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo”, a human rights organization whose purpose is to find children who disappeared during “the dirty war”.
This visit to the memorial park was intended to show Her Majesty an important part of Argentine history and about what happened from 1969 to 1983, in the years up to and under the dictatorship. The monument was erected in memory of the more than 30,000 victims who either disappeared or were killed under the regime.
The grandmothers accompanied the Queen on a bridge where Her Majesty threw flowers in the water in memory of the victims.
14:15 pm – Network breakfast
Back at the business conference, His Royal Highness the Crown Prince participated in the business conference’s network breakfast to solidify new relationships between Danish and Argentinian companies.
14:50 pm – Visit to Hogar Danés (The Danish House)
The Queen visited the Danish elderly centre Hogar Danés. Here, the Queen met and spoke to a number of Argentineans of Danish descent. The Danish House was founded in May 1996 and belongs to the Danish Church in Buenos Aires. The foundation of the home was donated in 1944 by a Danish family.
16:00 pm – Visit to Teatro Colón Opera House
Considered one of the best, and most definitely one of the most beautiful,
Opera Houses in the world, the Queen paid a visit to the legendary Opera House Teatro Colón. During the visit, Her Majesty was informed of the history of the Opera House, attended a ballet masterclass and got a sneak peek of the current stage design for the house’s new production of the opera Rigoletto.
16:00 pm – Powerchair Football and Social Development Goals Football event
Following the Business Conference, the dual love and interest of football between Denmark and Argentina were celebrated when the Crown Prince was shown around at ‘Estadio Alberto J. Armando’ and visits the projects ‘Powerchair Football Argentina’ and ‘Social Development Goals Football’. These projects focus on creating social networks and learning regardless of gender, social status and physical disabilities.
The Powerchair Football Argentina project is an initiative of Argentina’s wheelchair football association, where Virtual Reality equipment is being developed for wheelchair users for their individual training. During the visit, the Crown Prince was given the opportunity to try out the Virtual Reality glasses.
The Social Development Goals project consists of a new football league for girls aged 12-18 who live in poor areas of Buenos Aires. In addition to learning football techniques, the girls work with the UN’s world goals, and each team chooses a world goal that they “play for” in the league. The league was established in 2018 via a collaboration between Boca Social, The Danish Embassy, the city of Buenos Aires and the Danish NGO Eir Soccer.
During the tour, his Royal Highness received a full tour of the famous Boca Stadium, which can accommodate up to 49,000 people where he met Cristian Pavón, amongst others.
20:00 pm – The Queen hosts a gala dinner on the occasion of the State Visit to Argentina
The last event of the day saw Her Majesty the Queen and Crown Prince host a gala dinner in celebration of the State Visit To Argentina. The dinner was hosted in central Buenos Aires where various attendees included Argentina’s Presidential couple, Argentina’s Vice President, officials, delegates, VIPs as well as various Danish participants from the business conference.
The entertainment during the dinner consisted of both Danish and Argentine features, including a performance by Patricia Sosa as well as the Royal Ballet.
Wednesday, 20 March 2019
8:30 am – Visit to the wind farm PEPE II
The last morning of the State Visit To Argentina saw the Crown Prince visit the newly established wind farm in the city of Bahia Blanca. The park, located 660 kilometres south of Buenos Aires, bears the name PEPE II and is the second part of several planned wind farms in Argentina.
The Danish company VESTAS is an international supplier of wind turbines. PEPE II consists of 14 new VESTAS wind turbines with a wing catch of 136 meters.
After the visit to the wind farm, Her Majesty and His Royal Highness visited the town of Tandil, where several Argentineans with Danish roots reside.
During the approach to Tandil, the Queen’s aeroplane was escorted by the Argentine Air Force.
10:00 am – Reception at the Juan Bird statue
Upon arrival in Tandil, her Majesty the Queen was received by Mayor Miguel Angel Lunghi and the parish council chairman of the Danish church Alicia Larsen. Following which, the delegation visited the statue of the Danes Juan Fugl, who emigrated to Argentina in 1844. Hans Christensen Bird was one of the pioneers in the founding of the town of Tandil, where the first Danish colony in Argentina was founded and which subsequently grew and spread to the surrounding areas.
10:30 am – The Danish church in Tandil
Next, the Queen paid a visit to the Danish church in Tandil. Here, Her Majesty was given the opportunity to talk to people from the four Danish congregations in Buenos Aires, Tres Arroyos, Necochea and Tandil.
11:00 am – Reception at Tandil Town Hall
In an official ceremony, Her Majesty the Queen, as well as the Crown Prince, was then received at the Tandil Town Hall. Also in attendance was the Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen, Denmark’s Ambassador to Argentina Søren Vøhtz, Danish Minister for Environment and Food, Jakob Ellemann-Jensen and Tandil’s Mayor Miguel Lunghi.
13:00 pm – Press meeting
After the reception, the Queen and Crown Prince attended a final press conference for Danish and Argentine media. The press conference took place at Hosteria Ave Maria.
13:40 pm – Meeting with Danish descendants and entertainment
After the press conference, the Queen and Crown Prince greeted representatives of the Danish society in Argentina and attended Argentinian and Danish folk dance.
14:15 pm – Lunch at Hosteria Ave Maria
The official State Visit To Argentina was concluded with Her Majesty and His Royal Highness attended a lunch with representatives from the Danish society in Argentina at Hosteria Ave Maria.
Images: Danish Royal Court