Margrethe’s Danehof Parliament and procession

Wednesday, Wednesday, July 02, 2014

When Danehof Days 2014 begin on July 5 and 6 in Nyborg, there will be a great procession through the town. Escorted by knights, soldiers, musicians and other good citizens, Queen Margrethe I and her son, 7 year old Oluf, will majestically enter her town, just as she did in 1377. Back then, a large number of bishops, knights, squires and their followers accompanied her to the Danehof gathering at Nyborg Castle, where the assumption of power after the election of Oluf as king the previous year was to be affirmed by the Danehof Parliament. This was the first step towards creating the Kalmar Union, which from 1396-97 combined the three Nordic countries under one regent.

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"Margrethe and Nyborg had a lot to do with each other; not only did she ride through the same streets in 1377 where we today hold Danehof Days 14; Nyborg was one of the central places for the rebuilding of the country, a task begun by her father, King Valdemar Atterdag. It was a central place of power. The castle was expanded during her residence, and The Church of Our Lady (Nyborg Church) was established as a monument for a military victory which meant that the queen also had the right to rule as regent in Sweden. She was already regent in Denmark and Norway, and was able to unite the three kingdoms into the Kalmar Union. In this way, all of Nyborg, with its historic town centre anchored at each end by castle and church, is one big continuous monument over the creation of the (geographically) largest kingdom in Europe. It is exciting to see this story brought back to life during this year's Danehof Days, when Margrethe rides into town following the same route as she did almost 650 years ago," says Janus Møller Jensen, department chief at Nyborg Castle Museum.

"Many local initiatives have been instrumental in making this story come to life. An enormous effort on the part of Nyborg Castle's Costume Guild has created Margrethe's and Oluf's costumes and the handsome royal banners borne by heralds in front of the procession. Without the major contribution and tremendous support of volunteers, this never would have been possible," said curator and heritage coordinator Malene Refshauge Beck from Nyborg Castle.

Members of the Cavalry at Nyborg Castle will also be part of the procession, and have also made many of the practical arrangements. The Dutch knights from Stichting HEI have again made the long journey to the queen's town to celebrate the choice of Oluf as king. They will, of course, ride through the town, along with many of the medieval actors and musicians who populate the castle grounds during Danehof Days.

The Danehof procession is one of the ways we bring history to life, and it also ties the historic old town together. We hope that many people will feel like either following the procession around town or stand and wave along the route to greet Queen Margrethe I and welcome her to Nyborg. The procession also marks the 75th anniversary of the Nyborg Ramparts Theatre, which began its long series of annual summer performances with a similar procession.

Time: Saturday, July 5th and Sunday, July 6th, both days, from 10:00 - 11:00 AM.

Place: The procession begins at the Prince's Bastion, proceeds across the square, up Slotsgade (Castle Street), up Kongensgade (King Street) to the Church of Our Lady, thence along Nørregade (North Street) back to the castle, where Margrethe will receive a royal welcome. See the attached route map from the program for Danehof Days.

Picture text: Hand-coloured photograph from 1939 of King Erik Klipping and Queen Agnes, played by local veterinarian Dr. Mikkelsen and wife. Between the king and the queen, Grethe Staunbjerg can be seen, and at the far left, her brother Niels Jacob Brandt, who played Erik Menved (later king himself). Photo: Nyborg Historical Archives