The Royal Danish Guards Association has 69 chapters in Denmark, 9 in foreign countries and a total of 14.000 members. We all have one thing in common: We have served in the Danish Royal Guards Regiment which for 349 years has been the only regiment guarding HM the King of Denmark, the Royal Family and the Royal palaces. The regiment is the only one to which the national servicemen are drafted from right across the country, and although it is well known that the boot camp training and discipline is physically and mentally more demanding than in any other Danish regiment, most of the guardsmen have voluntarily asked to do their national service in the regiment, often because their father, grandfather have served there. The first Royal Guards Association was founded in Copenhagen in 1885. Other associations soon followed, and in 1911 there were 25 throughout Denmark. At that time it was decided to establish an umbrella organization which could represent the guards associations and publish a monthly magazine. That organization was called Danske Garderforeninger. HM King Christian X, who started his military service as a recruit in the Royal Guard, gave permission to place the Royal Crown on top of the DG. Now DG has 69 chapters in Denmark.At the initiative of Johan Schmidt, who for many years served as president of Garderforeningen in Copenhagen, the first Guard Society outside Denmark was established in New York in 1928. Johan was visiting a Guard friend, John Jorgensen, in New York and they decided to start a chapter in the U.S. Through advertising in the now defunct Danish language newspaper "Nordlyset" they managed to gather 12 former guardsmen living in the U.S. In 1936 Lauritz Melchior, the world renown Wagnerian opera singer, joined the New York Guard Society and through his tireless efforts new chapters were founded in Los Angeles 1942, Chicago 1943, Calgary, Canada 1944, Toronto 1958 and Vancouver/Seattle 1968. In recent years three new chapters have emerged, Australia 1990, Great Britain 1992 and Singapore 2003.
Since the founding of the Royal Guards Association of California the Kings Birthdays - and now the Queens Birthday - have been celebrated. The first 30 years the Birthday Ball was held at the Scandia restaurant, whose owner was Danish. For the past 22 years the birthday has been celebrated at The Danish Cultural Center in Yorba Linda, and the Birthday Event has become an "Institution" among Danes in the area. The number of members in Royal Guards Association in California is slowly falling, mostly due to the aging of the members. Although the Guards Association of California does not have that many members left, more than 115 members and guests have for a number of years attended the Birthday Celebration. The old traditions are maintained. First the guardsmen stage a parade with the National flags. The guardsmen are wearing the cap used by the Danish Royal Guardsmen when not wearing the bear skin cap. The use of the caps was introduced many years ago by Lauritz Melchior. Then the Dinner can begin. .