The Royal Yacht Dannebrog was launched by Queen Alexandrine in Copenhagen in 1931 and was commissioned on 26 May 1932. The yacht now serves as the official and private residence for HM The Queen, HRH the Prince Consort and members of the Royal Family when they are on official visits overseas and on summer cruises in Danish waters. When at sea the Royal Yacht also participates in surveillance and sea rescue services.
The Dannebrog was built in 1931 – 1932 at the Naval Dockyard in Copenhagen to replace the previous royal vessel, the paddle steamer Dannebrog from 1879. The yacht has dual functions: it is primarily the Royal Yacht during peacetime, second – it can become a hospital ship during emergency alerts or war.
The ship’s hull is a riveted steel construction on transverse frames. The ship has a clipper stem and an elliptic stern. Viewed from the side the ship may be divided into two sections. In front of the funnel there is space for accommodation for the crew, cargo and the engine. At the rear is the Royal Apartment, which could accommodate patients if it was ever to be used as a hospital. During visits to Danish and foreign ports the covered quarterdeck is used for receptions.
The Royal accommodation comprises HM The Queen and HRH The Prince Consort’s the studies, a dining salon, a lounge, the bedroom, etc. HM The Queen and HRH The Prince Consort have taken a personal interest in fitting out the vessel and the choice of furnishings. The Royal Apartment contains furniture and fittings from the previous Royal vessel from 1879.
The Royal Yacht Dannebrog is an independent command, administered by the Chief of HM The Queen’s Naval Household, who is a member of the Royal Household. The crew of the Dannebrog comprises 9 officers, 7 sergeants and 36 enlisted able-seamen all of whom have all been hand-picked from the Navy. The officers are normally seconded for periods of two to four years, whereas the able-seamen stay for just one summer.
Since the flag was first hoisted in 1932, the yacht has travelled more than 300,000 nautical miles and visited most of the ports of Denmark, Greenland and the Faroe Islands. The yacht has also visited European ports, especially in France and cruised the Mediterranean and the Caribbean Seas.
A major overhaul was carried out in 1980 to 1981 in order to extend the life of the yacht beyond the turn of the century. We have now passed that point and the 70-year-old yacht is still going strong. One of the major improvements was the replacement of the main engines.
Location and size Situated in the heart of the Gulf Stream in the North Atlantic at 62°00’N, the Faroe Islands lie northwest of Scotland and halfway between Iceland and Norway. The archipelago is composed of 18 islands covering 1399 km2 (545.3 sq.miles) and is 113 km (70 miles) long and 75 km (47 miles) wide, roughly in the shape of an arrowhead. There are 1100 km (687 miles) of coastline and at no time is one more than 5 km (3 miles) away from the ocean. The highest mountain is 882 m (2883 ft) above sea level and the average height above sea level for the country is 300 m (982 ft). Climate The weather is maritime and quite changeable, from moments of brilliant sunshine to misty hill fog, to showers. The Gulf Stream encircling the islands tempers the climate. The harbours never freeze and the temperature in winter time is very moderate considering the high latitude. Snowfall occurs, but is shortlived. The average temperature ranges from 3°C in winter to 11°C in the summer. In sheltered areas, the temperature can be much higher, but the air is always fresh and clean no matter what the season. Population The population is 48.520 (1st April 2008). About 19,400 people live in the metropolitan area which comprises Tórshavn, Kirkjubøur, Velbastaður, Nólsoy, Hestur, Koltur, Hoyvík, Argir, Kaldbak, Kaldbaksbotnur, Norðradalur, Syðradalur, Hvítanes, Sund, Kollafjørður, Signabøur and Oyrareingir, while about 4,700 people live in Klaksvík, the second largest town in the Faroe Islands. Form of Government Since 1948, the Faroe Islands have been a self governing region of the Kingdom of Denmark. It has its own parliament and its own flag. It is not, however, a member of the European Union and all trade is governed by special treaties. Languages Spoken Faroese is the national language and is rooted in Old Norse. Nordic languages are readily understood by most Faroese, and English is also widely spoken, especially among the younger people. Religion Religion plays an important part in Faroese culture and over 80% of the population belong to the established church, the EvangelicalLutheran. 10% of the population belong to the Christian Brethren (Plymouth Brethren). Industry The fishing industry is the most important source of income for the Faroes. Fish products account for over 97% of the export volume. Tourism is the second largest industry, followed by woollen and other manufactured products.