Idle Royally

Copenhagen poster quoting speech by Queen of Denmark

Denmark’s Queen Margrethe II used the occasion of her new year’s speech to encourage her subjects to be more idle.

“Try to do something that is not necessary,” said the wise monarch, striking a blow against the cold utilitarian philosophy that still dominates public discourse. “Something that is not needed, something useless… some would like to go for a walk in the woods or along the beach. Others prefer to listen to music or watch a TV series. I like to do something with my hands like sewing or drawing… it is important that we fertilise our imagination and nourish our mind.”

Following her speech, posters made by the Danish School of Art, quoting this section of her speech, popped up all over Copenhagen.

-Tom Hodgkinson, The Idler

The Idler is a quarterly British magazine devoted to its ethos of ‘idling’. Founded in 1993 by Tom Hodgkinson and Gavin Pretor-Pinney, the publication’s intention is to return dignity to the art of loafing, to make idling into something to aspire towards rather than reject.