By gifting a selfie stick and complimentary concert tickets, the change of government in Denmark recalls a curious moment in international diplomacy.
It is the custom in Danish politics that when ministers leave their post, they exchange gifts with their successors. Assuming the Danish prime ministry, the new Danish Prime Minster Lars Løkke Rasmussen gave his successor Helle Thorning Schmidt a reminder of her most memorable faux pas.
During the memorial service for anti-apartheid revolutionary Nelson Mandela, Schmidt elected to snap a selfie as she found herself sandwiched between two of the world’s most powerful politicians: British Prime Minister David Cameron and U.S. President Barrack Obama.
While funerals are common in Denmark, the former prime minister nevertheless took the occasion to break the decorum, pontificating that: “Maybe it also shows that when we meet heads of state and government, we too are just people who have fun.”
While the act of self-indulgence sparked popular indignation, what also drew attention was the grave countenance of first lady Michelle Obama. Seated on the president’s left, Michelle seemed to be having less fun than the blonde on her husband’s right.
The British prime minister was also confronted domestically as he returned to Parliament. The opposition party inquired about the breach of etiquette, to which the Prime Minister responded that he was merely “being polite.”