LA Danish Consul Knighted

  • January 01, 2021
  • January 05, 2021
  • Los Angeles, CA


Torben Aaskov, the Honorary Consul of Denmark in California and Nevada has been Knighted by Queen Margrethe II.  

Shortly after being notified, Aaskov said, "What a Christmas gift! I am so very humbled and honored that Her Majesty the Queen of Denmark has decided to knight me. The official title is: Knight Of The Order of Dannebrog.  Her Majesty is awarding it to me for Meritorious service as Consul of Denmark in Los Angeles and my contributions and work for Danish interests in the US.  What a fantastic end to a most unusual year!!!"

Aaskov was notified of his honor on Lille Juleaften. "On December 23rd late afternoon, I received a text message from a colleague at the Danish Ambassador’s office in Washington DC that I should check my emails in the Danish Foreign Ministry system. I promptly did so and there was a beautiful note from the Embassy and an attached message from the Office of the Protocol at the Danish Foreign Ministry in Copenhagen, informing me of the official awarding of the Order of Dannebrog by Her Majesty The Queen of Denmark. Given for Meritorious service and for promoting Danish interest in the US."

"I was so taken back and a rush of adrenaline went through my body followed by a complete feeling of joy and calmness. I was a bit overwhelmed and just felt so honored and humbled by the news. I am still taking it in now a week or more later. On top of the great news I thought what perfect timing just a day before Christmas Eve! I decided to keep it secret from the family and wrote a note with the attached letter and had my wife read it out after we opened all our gifts with our 4 kids on Christmas Eve (yes we do it Danish style on the 24th here at home). Everyone was so happy and excited for me and this made Christmas even more special this year."

Because of the pandemic, the formal awarding of Torben's knighthood is unique this year.  "I have been given the option to wait and have the award presented in DC at the Embassy once we safely can mingle again and then hopefully followed by an audience with Her Majesty the Queen to say Thank You in person. The Knightship is valid as of January 1, 2021 regardless of the presentation, but naturally I would love to have the experience in person rather than having the UPS driver bring me the medal on my front porch!!"

Torben Aaskov arrived in California in 1987 with the intention of completing his freshman year at Chapman University and then go back and study in Denmark. As it turns out Torben finished his Bachelors Degree with a double major in International Business and Business Economics from Chapman University in Orange County and stayed on to complete his Masters in Business Administration with a focus in International Business. During his Masters he was hired by the trade department at the Royal Danish Consulate General in Los Angeles promoting trade between Denmark and the US, and also had the good fortune to win the green card lottery. This opened the door for Torben to stay after the completion of his masters, which he did. After a couple of different jobs in corporate America and a 1 year stint back in Denmark working in marketing for one of Denmark’s largest corporations, he was offered a job back at the Danish Consulate General in LA which he accepted. He spent 6 years in the Trade Department as Senior Trade Officer upon his return to LA and then launched his own company, Tradeworks Inc,  focusing on importing and selling food and beverage products from Denmark and other European countries to some of the largest supermarket chains in America. 

Torben was then selected as one of the prospects to take over the role as Honorary Danish Consul at the Danish Consulate in LA at the end of 2012 and was appointed by Her Majesty the Queen of Denmark shortly after being picked for the job. Today Torben splits his time between running Tradeworks and the Danish Consulate and at the Danish Consulate relies on the excellent support of his colleague, Consular Officer, Peter Laursen and before that Ruth Thale who served with distinction for many years prior to Peter’s arrival. The Danish Consulate in LA is the busiest of all the honorary consulates in the US serving Danes traveling here as well as the Danes living locally. The activities vary from issuance of emergency passports, passport renewals, citizen assistance in connection with arrests, lost property and so on. As well as acting as liaison between the Danish Embassy in Washington DC, The Danish Foreign Ministry in Copenhagen and the local governmental agencies in LA and private organizations when needed. The focus being assisting Danish citizens and promoting Denmark on multiple fronts. It is a position Torben is honored to hold and keeps him connected to his beloved Denmark, which he visits on a regular basis on connection with work and for pleasure.

We congratulate Sir Torben Aaskov for this well deserved honor!

National Foundation for Danish America
PO Box 1003
Wilmette, Illinois 60091

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