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In the Royal Family a new year begins with the traditional and finest of the New Year’s Levees, the banquet

Everyone comes in their finest and the event is covered by TV and other members of the press with live transmissions from the arrival. Much to everyone’s regret, TV and photographers are only allowed to take pictures of the guest’s arrivals and not from the party going on inside.

By Bente D. Knudsen    Pictures: All pictures in this article are by Hasse Ferrold from past events.

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The 1 January is always a busy day for the Royal family. On this day the Queen hosts the finest of the many New Year Levees, the Nytårstaffel – the banquet.

At this first levee, the highest ranking officials from the different state institutions are invited, as well as the government and important members of the royal household and staff, such as the Queen’s personal secretary.

Everyone dresses in their finest and the official dress code is called Galla A, here tiaras, medals and other orders as well as dress uniforms are on show.

Of course the most interesting – for fashionistas- are the women’s long dresses. They have more variation than the men’s white tails – and only the royal family and officers arrive in dress uniform.

You can enjoy the spectacle from a distance if you dress up warmly and wait at Amalienborg Palace in front of Christian VII’s palace, guests will start arriving from 18:25 and the last ones are always the royals. The dinner itself starts at 19:30 on 1 January 2019.

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At the  Nytårstaffel – dinner is served together with a glass of what is called the Rosenborg Vin. This is the only New Year levee, where dinner is served, which is the reason for the name taffel. The others are called Nytårskur – and here a drink is served – typically a glass of champagne.

According to those who have had the pleasure of tasting it,  the Rosenborg Vin is not a delicacy at all – instead it is rather bitter and certainly not one of the attractions of the party – but just a tradition.

The original Rosenborg vin can be traced back to 1598 and the rest of it – about 1,000 litres, is stored in the cellars under Rosenborg Slot. The oldest are from 1598, 1599 and 1615. They belonged to  Christian 4’s mother and in 1659 they were taken by the Swedes as part of the spoils of war, however on their way to Sweden they were won back and brought home.

It is believed that there is enough wine for another 300 years of New Year Levees.

In this video  you can enjoy the Queen’s late husband HRH Prince Henrik tast the wine and tell its history.

You can see all the preparations for the banquet in this video by clicking this link here.

The tables are set up according to tradition in a horse-shoe shape in the Riddersal, the banquet hall of Christian 7’s palace.

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Read more about the other New Year Levees and the Gold Coach tour here.