THE HISTORY OF THE NEW YEAR’S LEVEES

Kur i Christian VII's Palæ, 2009
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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.

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 December 29, 2013

Wednesday, 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 will receive the government and guests specially invited to the levee.
The Crown Prince Couple and TRH Prince Joachim and Princess Marie will be present.

Monday, 6 January  
09.50 New Year’s levee in Christian VII’s Palace, Amalienborg

The Queen and The Prince Consort will receive the Supreme Court’s judges and officer corps of The Royal Life Guard and The Royal Hussar Guard Regiment during the 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 during the levee.
The Crown Prince Couple will be present.

Tuesday, 7 January
The Queen and The Prince Consort receive the following during a New Year’s levee at Christiansborg Palace:

09.30 Officers from the Defence and the Danish Emergency 
  Management Agency
10.00 I., II. and III. rank classes
12.00 Invited representatives from large national organizations
  and those having royal patronage

The Crown Prince Couple will be present. 

Attire for all levees: gala/full dress.

Coach tour 

The Queen and The Prince Consort ride in the Gold Coach from Amalienborg to Christiansborg Palace, escorted by the Royal Hussar Guard Regiment’s horse squadron, on Tuesday, 7 January, at 09.00 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 in the office of The Lord Chamberlain, Det Gule Palæ, Amaliegade 18, Copenhagen C on Wednesday, 1 January 2014, from 10.00-14.00. 

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