On May 4th Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary of Denmark gave a keynote speech on women’s economic empowerment to a packed auditorium in UWs Kane Hall. The topic was her own; Denmark’s Crown Princess is a champion of women’s rights and a member of the Leadership Council of International Center for Research on Women.
The Crown Princess was accompanied to the UW by Denmark’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Anders Samuelsen, Ambassador Lars Gert Lose as well as embassy staff. The distinguished party was greeted in Presidential Conference Room in Gerberding Hall by UW Provost Jerry Baldasty, before walking to Kane Hall. Two uniformed Danish Royal Guards (sponsored by the Pacific Northwest Royal Guards Association), playing pipes and drums, led the Crown Princess and the official party across UWs Red Square. This royal procession was soon reported in the Danish media, including Billed-bladet, with clip of UW student of Danish, Ms. Lynn Lee presenting the Crown Princess with a bouquet of red and white flowers (you can view the clip here.)
HRH the Crown Princess engaged her Kane Hall audience of 280 guests with her emphatic message regarding the importance of breaking gender barriers in order to empower women economically on a global scale. A panel discussion on the topic followed the keynote, including panelists from the International Center for Research on Women, the Gates Foundation, and World Vision, along with UW's Professor Sabine Lange and UW graduate student Guadalupe Tovar. You can listen to the Crown Princess’ entire keynote speech and the panel discussion here.
Faculty and staff of the Department of Scandinavian Studies had worked tirelessly to plan every detail of the royal visit, coordinating closely with the US Embassy for Denmark and UW’s Office of Global Affairs.
Immediately following the panel, the Crown Princess, along with the Danish Ambassador and Foreign Minister, attended the first 30 minutes of the elegant reception in the Walker-Ames Room with 100 VIP departmental guests, sponsored generously by Nina and Georg Pedersen. Many faculty members, panelists, and other reception guests had the opportunity to speak directly with the Crown Princess who graciously conversed with many guests. There were speeches and toasts delivered by Dean Bob Stacey and later by Dean Michael Shapiro and Professor Marianne Stecher. Finally the visiting Royal Guards, sponsored by Kenneth Olsen, performed music and posed for photographs. The department hopes to continue its good relations with the Danish Royal House and the Embassy of Denmark for years to come.