I boast terribly about being an honorary Dane, says Dame Judi Dench

Star guest found out about her heritage on hit BBC show Who Do You Think You Are?

Thursday, 26th May — By Anna Lamche

Danischurch - judi dench Image 2022-06-13 at 12.18.27 PM (13)

Dame Judi Dench at the opening of the fair

DAME Judi Dench said she was serving as an “honorary Dane” as she opened a fair celebrating Danish culture on Saturday.

The Skyfall actor found out she had Danish blood after appearing on the BBC’s family tree search Who Do You Think You Are? last year.

Dressed in red and white to match the flag and delighted by her new-found ancestry, she opened festivities at the The Danish Church in Regent’s Park.

“Here I am, an honorary Dane,” Dame Judi said to the crowd. “I keep saying it, I boast terribly about it.”

‘Vicar in reserve’ Arne Kristophersen

Gillian Block and Frieda meeting Dame Judi

Referencing Kronborg, the castle upon which Shakespeare based the setting of Hamlet, Dame Judi said: “We found that we have a ninth time great-aunt who goes back to being the Queen’s lady in waiting at Elsinore – at the time, Shakespeare’s company and Will Kempe actually visited the castle, so I just feel I have touched a tiny bit of Shakespeare’s doublet, and that will do me for the rest of my life.”

Charlotte, a ‘true Dane’, along with he friend Val, an ‘honorary Dane’

Karin holding Danish pastries

Danish bakery stars Gertrud, Liz, Ingeborg and Lisbeth

She added that she used to live in Regent’s Park Terrace – for seven years – adding: “I used to pass this church and never had an inkling that one day I would be standing here, but I am terribly proud to be able to say that I have Danish ancestry.”

Church member Anita Hogg presented Dame Judi with a cushion embroidered with daisies, the Danish national flower.  Ms Hogg said she had spent “two or three days” crafting the gift.

Anita Hogg with daughter Louise and granddaughter Tilly

Flemming Kloster Poulsen with Arne

In the afternoon, the church raffle was presented by “genuine Dane” Lars Tharp, of the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow.

Barring a Covid-induced hiatus, chairman Bette Petersen Broyd said the church’s Danish Women’s Association had been running a “Danish Fair” every year since 1954.

Roughly 1,300 adults came along on the day, Ms Petersen Broyd said, adding: “The fact we had Dame Judi Dench opening, I’m sure that was the main attraction. We were thrilled.”

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