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ST. PETERSBURG, September 6 (Itar-Tass) —— The Royal Yacht Dannebrog, which now serves as the official and private residence for Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and members of the Royal Family when they are on official visits overseas, called Russia’s second largest city St. Petersburg and docked at the English embankment downtown early on Tuesday.
The royal yacht is being accompanied by the Thetis frigate of the Danish Navy and the Russian corvette Steregushchy, which joined the Danish ship in Russian waters.
On Tuesday, the Danish Queen and the Prince Consort begin an official state visit to Russia at the invitation of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.
It is expected that the Danish Queen will first visit Moscow and the Moscow region, on September 6 through 8, and then the Royal Family will go to St. Petersburg and the Leningrad region.
Later in the day, the command of the visiting ships will meet with governor of St. Petersburg Georgy Poltavchenko and the command of the Leningrad naval base. On Thursday, September 8, Danish naval chief of staff Rear Admiral Finn Hansen will meet with commander of the Russian Baltic Fleet Vice Admiral Viktor Chirkov.
Her Danish Majesty’s Yacht Dannebrog was launched by Queen Alexandrine at Copenhagen in 1931, and commissioned on 26 May 1932. The Dannebrog, named after the flag of Denmark, has dual functions: it is primarily the Royal Yacht during peacetime; it can become a hospital ship during emergency alerts or war. A major overhaul was carried out in 1980/81 to extend the life of the yacht beyond the turn of the century. Having now passed that point, the 75-year-old yacht is still in excellent condition, with major improvements including replacement of the yacht's main engines.