THE HISTORY OF THE NEW YEAR’S LEVEES

Taffelsalen i Christian VII's Palæ, Amalienborg
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In keeping with tradition, The Queen and The Prince Consort hold New Year’s levees at Amalienborg and Christiansborg Palace, respectively, at the beginning of the New Year.

In keeping with tradition, The Queen and The Prince Consort hold New Year’s levees at Amalienborg and Christiansborg Palace, respectively, at the beginning of the New Year. 

For centuries, the Royal Danish House and Danes have wished each other a Happy New Year and, with that, good luck and prosperity for the whole kingdom. The origin of the contemporary New Year’s levees and New Year’s banquet is not known with certainty, but already in the mid 1600s the events around the changing of the year were referred to as old customs, and the basic elements are still the same.

From the time of Frederik III – and possibly long before that – the royal banquet on New Year’s Eve was an official event: all could come to the castle, where they stood in rows along the walls of the banquet hall and watched the royal family and the court dine. The custom came to an end when Christian VI and Queen Sophie Magdalene let Copenhagen Castle be demolished and moved into Christiansborg Palace, where no unauthorized people had access. 

The tradition of the New Year’s levees, which extend over several days, was developed after the First World War, when the levees could no longer be carried out on one and the same day, 1 January. That was due to the development of the society, by which the number of state institutions grew through the 1900s. 

Now when HM The Queen and HRH The Prince Consort hold the New Year’s levees, they pass off over three days:

First day:
New Year’s banquet on 1 January in Christian VII’s Palace, Amalienborg, for the government, the country’s top civil servants and the Royal Court’s leadership. 

Second day:
New Year’s levee for the Supreme Court and the officer corps of the Royal Life Guard and Royal Hussar Guard regiments in Christian VII’s Palace, Amalienborg.

New Year’s levee for the diplomatic corps at Christiansborg Palace.

Third day:
New Year’s levee for officers from the Defence and the Danish Emergency Management Agency, for the 1., 2. and 3. rank classes, and for invited representatives of large national organizations and those having royal patronage, at Christiansborg Palace.


Published January 3, 2013

On the occasion of the New Year, Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Prince Consort will hold the following New Year’s levees:

Tuesday, 1 January
19.00 New Year’s levee and banquet in Christian VII’s Palace, Amalienborg
Immediately before the New Year’s banquet, The Queen and The Prince Consort receive the government and specially invited guests in levee.
The Crown Prince Couple and TRH Prince Joachim and Princess Marie will be present.

Thursday, 3 January  
09.50 New Year’s levee in Christian VII’s Palace, Amalienborg
The Queen and The Prince Consort receive the Supreme Court’s judges and watch officers of the Royal Life Guard and the Royal Hussar Guard regiments in levee.
The Crown Prince Couple will be present. 

11.30 New Year’s levee at Christiansborg Palace
The Queen and The Prince Consort receive the diplomatic corps in levee. 
The Crown Prince Couple will be present. 


Friday, 4 January 
The Queen and The Prince Consort receive the following in a New Year’s levee at Christiansborg Palace:
09.30 Officers from the Defence and the Danish Emergency 

Management Agency
10.00 I. and II. Rank classes
10.30 III. Rank class
12.00 Invited representatives of large national organizations and 
those having royal patronage. 
The Crown Prince Couple will be present.

Attire for all levees: gala/full dress.

Coach ride 
On Friday, 4 January at 09.00, The Queen and The Prince Consort ride in the Gold Coach, escorted by the Royal Hussar Guard Regiment’s horse squadron, from Amalienborg to Christiansborg Palace and, at approximately 13.30 after the levee, from Christiansborg Palace to Amalienborg. 

Congratulation lists

On the occasion of the New Year, congratulation lists for The Queen and The Prince Consort will be presented on Tuesday, 1 January, from 10.00-14.00 at the Lord Chamberlain’s Department, Det Gule Palæ, Amaliegade 18, Copenhagen K.

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