Frederik, Crown Prince of Denmark, was denied access to the popular Jade Buddha bar in Brisbane on Friday night because he did not have identification.
Under new Queensland laws effective from July 1, people entering hundreds of bars in the state after 10pm need to have their ID scanned into a system that allows the bar to cross-check the patrons against a database of people who have been causing trouble at other venues across the state.
The system has had its share of teething problems, particularly with foreign visitors not having appropriate ID.
On Friday night Prince Frederik, 49, who has been visiting the state with his Australian-born wife Princess Mary for the Hamilton Island Race Week yachting regatta, was denied entry to Jade Buddha Bar in Brisbane because he did not have ID.
Bar co-owner Phillip Hogan told BuzzFeed News that he had left for the night, and that the venue manager was on the front door with the head of security when a group of plain-clothed Queensland police officers approached, stating they were escorting European royalty.
"Their first concern [for those on the front door] was they could be terrorists," Hogan said. "They had guns and badges that they could have bought in shops."
The plain-clothed officers produced badges, but would not show an ID for the prince, Hogan said. When the ID for one of the officers was sent through by the venue manager to Hogan, he was able to identify the officer as one he had previously met.
However due to the new ID law, Hogan said the bar couldn't let anyone in without ID, and didn't want to break the law in front of several Queensland Police officers. The group left, and Hogan said he thought "oh well, we've lost the prince of Denmark".
However, the group returned 15 minutes later stating they had the approval of the liquor regulator, and they were finally allowed in.
Hogan said that despite all the trouble, Frederik handled the situation well. The staff shouted the group a round of drinks, and Hogan said Prince Frederik ordered a Dark & Stormy (a cocktail made of dark rum and ginger beer, with lime juice).
"It was all pretty humorous ... the prince must be a very nice, down-to-earth bloke."
Hogan said the situation with Frederik highlighted issues with the ID scanning system.
Queensland opposition leader Tim Nicholls attempted to make hay of the debacle, stating in Question Time on Tuesday that the Labor state government had "botched" the implementation of the new ID scanners and was "damaging Queensland's reputation".
Prince Frederik met Princess Mary in a bar in Sydney during the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, and Nicholls asked whether Frederik would have "ever met his Cinderella" if such ID scanning systems had been in place back then.
In response, Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk thanked Prince Frederik for visiting the state, and rejected the criticism from the opposition, claiming the ID scanning law had enjoyed bipartisan support.
BuzzFeed News reached out to the Danish embassy in Canberra for comment, and while the embassy confirmed Prince Frederik was in Australia on a private trip, it declined to comment on the incident at Jade Buddha Bar.
Josh Taylor is a Senior Reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney.
Contact Josh Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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