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Volcanic eruption clouds Danish queen's birthday
By JAN M. OLSEN
Associated Press
2010-04-15 10:59 PM
When push comes to shove, even kings and queens must bow down before the power of nature.

The airline chaos caused by the volcanic eruption in Iceland complicated travel plans Thursday for a number of European royals planning to travel to Copenhagen to celebrate the 70th birthday of Denmark's Queen Margrethe. Flights have been canceled in several European countries due to volcanic ash.

Queen Margrethe's birthday is Friday but several European royals were invited also to a special theater performance Thursday evening in Copenhagen.

Norway's palace said it was unclear whether King Harald and Queen Sonja would make it to Copenhagen in time for Thursday's event. Crown Princess Mette-Marit was traveling from Norway by car but her husband, Crown Prince Haakon, was stuck in London, the palace said.

Officials in Sweden said the royal family would make it to Copenhagen, but wouldn't say how they were traveling.

Dutch Queen Beatrix, Crown Prince Willem Alexander and his wife Princess Maxima planned to travel to Denmark by train Friday, a Dutch government official said.

Spain's King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia also planned to travel Friday, but it was unclear whether that would be possible as Danish air space was expected to remain closed at least until 1000GMT.

Friday's program includes a banquet lunch for Queen Margrethe hosted by the city of Copenhagen and a dinner at the Fredensborg Palace, north of the capital.

Danish royal court officials didn't immediately return calls seeking comment. Court spokeswoman Lene Balleby told Danish newspaper BT that several foreign guests were being affected by the travel disruptions.

"Right now we don't have a clear idea of what it will mean for the final participation in the different events," she said.

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