Here’s a belated post on Prince Harry‘s October 25-26 visit to Denmark, where he met Queen Margrethe and refused to eat a Danish pastry.
Harry’s trip began with an audience with Queen Margrethe at Amalienborg Palace.
Harry then visited KPH Projects – a community of start-ups focusing on improving society through social, cultural, and environmental goals – before moving on to GAME – which uses sports such as basketball and parkour as a vehicle for social change.
Harry closed out his first day in Denmark with a reception hosted by the British Ambassador to Denmark at Tivoli Gardens. Harry gave a speech, but KP still hasn’t put the transcript online. KP did tweet out some of what Harry said:
“God aften. The warmth of your welcome has been incredible, and I’ve had an inspiring first day in your beautiful city. I have already been incredibly impressed with the passion, drive, and enthusiasm of those people I have met. I told those I met today that they must keep doing what they’re doing; they must keep giving back; and they must keep acting as leaders. Our two countries have an unbreakable bond which is as strong now as it ever has been.”
Harry started day 2 in Denmark with a trip to a local bakery to meet people from the “One of Us” campaign which aims to destigmatize mental illness in Denmark. The campaign, which launched in 2011, supports young people with mental health issues to help them avoid isolation during their studies. While speaking with the young people, Harry spoke again on the dangers of the internet.
“He said during a visit to a mental health charity discussion held at one of Copenhagen’s leading chain of bakeries: ‘It’s crazy and scary.’ At the Lagkagehuset bakery in Copenhagen, Harry told ambassadors for the One of Us mental health charity: ‘People are spending far too much time online and it’s like a mental running machine that they can’t get off. You wouldn’t put your body through such a workout. I’m the last person to say ban it but people are suffering from mental fatigue and getting burnt out. We all need to talk to each other more.'”
Harry also spoke about mental health discussion and how it’s changing in the UK, saying:
“In the UK we found people were scared to talk about their problems but that is changing fast and it’s now becoming normal for younger people to talk about mental health, whether it’s bi-polar, depression or losing a relative. You have all been in a dark place but have come through and your experiences are invaluable to help others. You are proof that you don’t have to be a professional to make a difference and turn a negative into a positive. You have discovered that you are part of a club, and it’s amazing how big that club is. Over 50 per cent of people suffer from mental illness at some time.”
Unfortunately, Harry turned down the offer to try one of the Danish pastries.
Harry then joined Prince Joachim to visit the Centre for Military Physical Training, which supports veterans of the Danish Armed Forces. They also met Danish Invictus Games competitors.
Harry also had a private meeting with the parents of 21-year-old Morten Krogh Jensen, whose body was flown back with Harry from Afghanistan on a plane he shared with wounded British troops. Harry has previously spoken – including at the 2016 and 2017 Invictus opening ceremonies – about how seeing this Danish soldier being loaded onto the plane was one of the reasons Harry started the Invictus Games.
The last stop on Harry’s trip was a visit to Ørestad Gymnasium school, which is dedicated to engaging young people in making a difference for their community and solving societal challenges. The school held a special conference about “making a difference” in the world. Harry took part in a discussion session as well as a workshop where students participated in an ‘opinion barometer’ focusing on solutions to improve voter turnout. The final session Harry visited was about the UN Global Goals and how young people can get involved in projects with a global agenda.