Photo: Julie Zeveloff/Business Insider
A few weeks back, we received an invitation to attend a luncheon at a soon-to-open Danish restaurant in New York City.It was no ordinary restaurant preview, but a stop on an extended New York press junket for the Crown Prince and Princess of Denmark.
Of course, we RSVP’d yes.
Click here to see what it was like to be in the presence of royalty >
We quickly learned that dining in the presence of royalty—indeed, being in the presence of royalty—is no ordinary experience.
First, this is no traditional royal couple. Frederik, the Crown Prince, met his wife Mary, a native of Tasmania who briefly attended school in Houston, at a bar called the Slip Inn while attending the Sydney Olympics in 2000.
The Prince is heir apparent to the throne, and lives in Copenhagen’s Amalienborg Castle along with his wife and four young children.
Second, there’s obviously a bit of protocol to follow when royalty is involved.
Here were the rules we found in our inbox this morning:
- You’re welcome to photograph them, but they are not to be touched.
- It’s asked that no one present themselves to the Crown Prince Couple unless they are formally introduced.
- If you are introduced you may shake their hand and bow (men) or curtsy (women).
- If you have the opportunity to speak with them (it’s not likely, but just in case!), they are to be individually addressed as “Your Royal Highness.”
- Please do not photograph them eating.
Not only did we learn what it was like to hang around royalty, we also learned a lot about traditional Danish cuisine, which will be available to New Yorkers for the first time when the city’s first exclusively Danish restaurant, Aamann’s/Copenhagen, opens this December at the Tribeca Film centre.
New York's first Danish restaurant was just one stop on the royal couple's trip. They also stopped at Ground Zero and visited a housing project in Queens.
Secret security showed up about 30 minutes before the royal couple was scheduled to arrive. But their presence wasn't too obvious throughout the event.
These girls—the daughters of one of the restaurant owners—got ready to present flowers to Princess Mary. Apparently this happens lots of places she goes.
Finally, Prince Frederik and Princess Mary arrived in a small motorcade. No crowns or tiaras here—the royal couple prefers fitted suits and chic skirts.
Inside the restaurant, droves of Danish paparazzi snapped photos of the royal couple as they listened to speeches from the restaurant's co-owner and chef.
We restrained ourselves from photographing the Princess sample the smørrebrød—traditional Danish open-faced sandwiches.
Fortunately, no one else was off limits. This guest sampled the chicken salad served on homemade rye bread.
Smørrebrød is usually paired with beer or schnapps, but in celebration of Aamann's/Copenhagen's debut, bottles of wine and champagne were served instead.
The base of smørrebrød is rye bread. Danish cuisine has experienced a bit of a renaissance in recent years, as Noma restaurant in Copenhagen was recently named the world's best and the city has tried to brand itself as a new 'foodie' destination.
We can assure you, the Danish royal couple tasted the food. They mostly spoke with the restaurant's owners and Medina and her entourage. The 60 or so other guests gave them a wide berth.
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