F.: Julie Laurberg, Franziska Gad · DCP. D.: 6’. Bn.
On 5 June 1915, a new revision of the Grundlov (the Danish constitution) was signed and went into effect. It extended the franchise significantly, eventually giving all adults above the age of 25 the right to vote in elections for the lower house of parliament (felons and poor people on public assistance excepted). This made Denmark the second sovereign country (after Norway in 1913) to institute universal suffrage for women.
On the day the law was signed, a large procession of women formed by various women’s organizations, about 12,000 strong, marched to Amalienborg, the royal palace, to celebrate their gaining of the vote and express to King Christian X their gratitude and their understanding of “the responsibilities and obligations” entailed by their “full political citizenship”, in the words of the address presented to the King by a deputation of women’s leaders. The procession was led by a color guard of young women in white dresses with red sashes, the colors of the Danish flag carried at the head of the procession by Sif Obel, a university student. Behind the national flag followed the banner of the Danish women’s society, showing the young girl who found one of the gold horns (two ceremonial Iron Age drinking horns made of solid gold which become important icons of Danish nationalism after they were stolen and melted down at the turn of the nineteenth century), the flags of three women’s gymnastics organizations, and the banner of the White Ribbon, the Danish branch of the World’s Women’s Christian Temperance Union. A band played march music, including the Riberhus March by J. F. Frølich, and two hundred and fifty marshals from the gymnastics organizations kept the dignified procession in line using sticks decorated with red and white ribbons. After receiving the deputation, the King appeared on a balcony with the Queen, declaring to the thousands gathered below: “It is an important day, and we may hope that generations to come will reap the blessings of the constitution granted today”.
The film was shot by Julie Laurberg (1856-1925) and Franziska Gad (1873-1921), who ran their own photographic studio, mainly doing portrait and architechtural photography. Laurberg won a silver medal at the 1900 World’s Fair in Paris for her work. She was also very active in women’s organizations.