Australian media report that Denmark's crown prince was temporarily left dry over the weekend when he failed to produce the necessary ID to enter a Brisbane bar. The state of Queensland has tough liquor laws.
Brisbane bouncers delayed Denmark's thirsty Crown Prince Frederik (right in photo) in his hunt for a drink when the 49-year-old future monarch refused to produce ID, the Courier Mail newspaper reported on Tuesday. According to a co-owner of Brisbane's swanky Jade Buddha bar, Frederik's plainclothes security declined the doormen's request for a passport or driver's license and would not identify themselves either.
As is the royal wont, the dejected Dane and his entourage asked for official assistance in overruling the doormen, who, state law says, must ask for and then scan an image of a patron's ID after 10 p.m.. After the Queensland Police Service's dignitary protection enlisted the help of the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation, the prince and his entourage returned 15 minutes later - or so officers say.
A spokeswoman for Queensland's attorney general denied that agents had ordered an exception: "The Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation has no knowledge or notification of this incident occurring."
Prior to Saturday, the prince had mostly had positive experiences at Australia's taverns: Heck, he met Mary Donaldson (left in photo), a 28-year-old Tasmanian-born advertising and real estate specialist (and the future crown princess of Denmark), while sipping at the Slip Inn bar in Sydney during the 2000 Olympic Games. This time around, Frederik is in town to attend a regatta.
'A stupid law'
In July, Queensland introduced what the Courier Mail calls "draconian lockout laws" requiring ID after 10 p.m. The newspaper also called Saturday's incident a "cringe-inducing blunder."
Jade Buddha co-owner Phil Hogan told the Courier Mail that he agreed with that assessment: "It's a stupid law. We always thought it was going to be a nightmare. The whole thing has been a nightmare from a tourist point of view. It's just a nonsense."
Officials point out that the prince got his drink. "This has not caused a diplomatic incident," Queensland Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath told the Brisbane Times for an article published Tuesday.
Grace Grace, who leads three Queensland state ministries, told the newspaper that the liquor law applies to princes and paupers alike: "People need to be scanned. I think that Prince Frederik would have understood that. Maybe they didn't recognize him, could be one of the reasons, but I think the ID scanners have been in my electorate for many, many years. I'm sure he wouldn't have minded."
Other officials called the incident a disgrace. "Forget the Battle of Brisbane," deputy opposition leader Deb Frecklington told the newspaper. "It's the bungle of Brisbane, and it's costing all Queenslanders."
The site of a destructive cyclone earlier this year and a freak beach collapse in 2015, Queensland is home to a plucky populace that is not afraid to engage in hand-to-mouth combat with large reptiles if the stakes are high enough.
mkg/msh (EFE, dpa)