Margrethe in May 2012
| Queen of Denmark |
|Reign||14 January 1972 – present|
|Heir apparent||Crown Prince Frederik|
|Born||16 April 1940|
Amalienborg, Copenhagen, Denmark
Henri de Laborde de Monpezat
(m. 1967;died 2018)
|Father||Frederick IX of Denmark|
|Mother||Ingrid of Sweden|
|Danish royal family|
HM The Queen of the Hellenes
|Extended royal family|
Margrethe II (Danish : Margrethe 2., pronounced [maˈkʁæːˀtə] ; Faroese : Margreta 2.; Greenlandic : Margrethe II; full name: Margrethe Alexandrine Þórhildur Ingrid; born 16 April 1940) is the Queen of Denmark, as well as the supreme authority of the Church of Denmark and Commander-in-Chief of the Danish Defence. Born into the House of Glücksburg, a royal house with origins in Northern Germany, she was the eldest child of Frederick IX of Denmark and Ingrid of Sweden. She succeeded her father upon his death on 14 January 1972, having become heir presumptive to her father in 1953, when a constitutional amendment allowed women to inherit the throne. On her accession, Margrethe became the first female monarch of Denmark since Margrethe I, ruler of the Scandinavian kingdoms in 1375–1412 during the Kalmar Union. In 1967, she married Henri de Laborde de Monpezat, with whom she has two sons: Crown Prince Frederik and Prince Joachim. She has been on the Danish throne for 47 years, becoming the second-longest-reigning Danish monarch after her ancestor Christian IV.
Danish is a North Germanic language spoken by around six million people, principally in Denmark and in the region of Southern Schleswig in northern Germany, where it has minority language status. Also, minor Danish-speaking communities are found in Norway, Sweden, Spain, the United States, Canada, Brazil, and Argentina. Due to immigration and language shift in urban areas, around 15–20% of the population of Greenland speak Danish as their first language.
Faroese is a North Germanic language spoken as a first language by about 72,000 people, around 49,000 of whom reside on the Faroe Islands and 23,000 in other areas, mainly Denmark. It is one of five languages descended from Old West Norse spoken in the Middle Ages, the others being Norwegian, Icelandic, and the extinct Norn and Greenlandic Norse. Faroese and Icelandic, its closest extant relative, are not mutually intelligible in speech, but the written languages resemble each other quite closely, largely owing to Faroese's etymological orthography.
Greenlandic (kalaallisut) is an Eskimo–Aleut language spoken by about 56,000 Greenlandic Inuit in Greenland. It is closely related to the Inuit languages in Canada such as Inuktitut. The main variety, Kalaallisut or West Greenlandic, has been the official language of the Greenlandic autonomous territory since June 2009; this is a move by the Naalakkersuisut to strengthen the language in its competition with the colonial language, Danish. The second variety is Tunumiit oraasiat or East Greenlandic. The Thule Inuit of Greenland, Inuktun or Polar Eskimo, is a recent arrival and a dialect of Inuktitut.
Princess Margrethe was born 16 April 1940 at Amalienborg in Copenhagen as the first child of the Crown Prince and Crown Princess (later King Frederick IX and Queen Ingrid). Her father was the eldest son of the then-reigning King Christian X, while her mother was the only daughter of the Crown Prince of Sweden (later King Gustaf VI Adolf). Her birth took place just one week after Nazi Germany's invasion of Denmark on 9 April 1940.
Amalienborg is the home of the Danish royal family, and is located in Copenhagen, Denmark. It consists of four identical classical palace façades with rococo interiors around an octagonal courtyard ; in the centre of the square is a monumental equestrian statue of Amalienborg's founder, King Frederick V.
Copenhagen is the capital and most populous city of Denmark. As of July 2018, the city has a population of 777,218. It forms the core of the wider urban area of Copenhagen and the Copenhagen metropolitan area. Copenhagen is situated on the eastern coast of the island of Zealand; another small portion of the city is located on Amager, and is separated from Malmö, Sweden, by the strait of Øresund. The Øresund Bridge connects the two cities by rail and road.
Nazi Germany is the common English name for Germany between 1933 and 1945, when Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party (NSDAP) controlled the country through a dictatorship. Under Hitler's rule, Germany was transformed into a totalitarian state where nearly all aspects of life were controlled by the government. The official name of the state was Deutsches Reich until 1943 and Großdeutsches Reich from 1943 to 1945. Nazi Germany is also known as the Third Reich, meaning "Third Realm" or "Third Empire", the first two being the Holy Roman Empire (800–1806) and the German Empire (1871–1918). The Nazi regime ended after the Allies defeated Germany in May 1945, ending World War II in Europe.
She was baptised on 14 May in the Church of Holmen in Copenhagen.The Princess's godparents were: King Christian X (paternal grandfather); Hereditary Prince Knud (paternal uncle); Prince Axel (her paternal grandfather's first cousin); King Gustaf V of Sweden (maternal great-grandfather); Crown Prince Gustaf Adolf of Sweden (maternal grandfather); Prince Gustaf Adolf, Duke of Västerbotten (her maternal uncle); Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn (maternal grandmother's father).
Baptism is a Christian rite of admission and adoption, almost invariably with the use of water, into Christianity. The synoptic gospels recount that John the Baptist baptised Jesus. Baptism is considered a sacrament in most churches, and as an ordinance in others. Baptism is also called christening, although some reserve the word "christening" for the baptism of infants. It has also given its name to the Baptist churches and denominations.
The Church of Holmen is a Parish church in central Copenhagen in Denmark, on the street called Holmens Kanal. First built as an anchor forge in 1563, it was converted into a naval church by Christian IV. It is famous for having hosted the wedding between Margrethe II of Denmark, current queen of Denmark, and Prince Henrik in 1967. It is the burial site of such notabilities as naval heroes Niels Juel and Peter Tordenskjold, and composer Niels Wilhelm Gade, and contains artwork by, among others, Bertel Thorvaldsen and Karel van Mander.
A godparent, in many denominations of Christianity, is someone who bears witness to a child's baptism and then aids in their catechesis, as well as their lifelong spiritual formation. In the past, in some countries, the role carried some legal obligations as well as religious responsibilities. In both religious and civil views, a godparent tends to be an individual chosen by the parents to take an interest in the child's upbringing and personal development, to offer mentorship or claim legal guardianship of the child should anything happen to the parents.
She was named Margrethe after her late maternal grandmother, Crown Princess Margaret of Sweden, Alexandrine after her paternal grandmother, Queen Alexandrine, and Ingrid after her mother. Since her paternal grandfather was also the King of Iceland, she was given the Icelandic name Þórhildur.
Alexandrine of Mecklenburg-Schwerin was Queen of Denmark as the spouse of King Christian X. She was also Queen of Iceland from 1 December 1918 to 17 June 1944.
Icelandic is a North Germanic language spoken in Iceland. Along with Faroese, Norn, and Western Norwegian it formerly constituted West Nordic; while Danish, Eastern Norwegian and Swedish constituted East Nordic. Modern Norwegian Bokmål is influenced by both groups, leading the Nordic languages to be divided into mainland Scandinavian languages and Insular Nordic. Historically, it was the westernmost of the Indo-European languages until the Portuguese settlement in the Azores.
When Margrethe was four years old, in 1944, her younger sister Princess Benedikte was born. Princess Benedikte later married Prince Richard of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg and lives some of the time in Germany. Her second sister, Princess Anne-Marie, was born in 1946. Anne-Marie later married Constantine II of the Hellenes and currently lives in Greece.
Princess Benedikte of Denmark, Princess of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg is the second daughter and child of King Frederick IX and Queen Ingrid of Denmark. She is the younger sister of the reigning Queen of Denmark, Margrethe II, and the older sister of Queen Anne-Marie of Greece.
Queen Anne-Marie of Greece, RE is the wife of King Constantine II, who reigned from 1964 until 1973.
Constantine II reigned as the King of Greece, from 1964 until the abolition of the monarchy in 1973.
Margrethe and her sisters grew up in apartments at Frederick VIII's Palace at Amalienborg in Copenhagen and in Fredensborg Palace in North Zealand. She spent summer holidays with the royal family in her parent's summer residence at Gråsten Palace in Southern Jutland. On 20 April 1947, King Christian X died and Margrethe's father ascended the throne as King Frederick IX.
Fredensborg Palace is a palace located on the eastern shore of Lake Esrum in Fredensborg on the island of Zealand (Sjælland) in Denmark. It is the Danish Royal Family’s spring and autumn residence, and is often the site of important state visits and events in the Royal Family. It is the most used of the Royal Family’s residences.
North Zealand, also North Sealand, refers to the northern part of the Danish island of Zealand which is not clearly defined but generally covers the area north of Copenhagen. The Danish tourist authorities have recently introduced the term Danish Riviera to cover the area in view of its increasing importance for tourism. The area not only has three magnificent royal castles but offers resorts with sandy beaches, as well as lakes and unspoiled forests. In addition to Kronborg Castle, three of the North Zealand forest areas used for royal par force hunting are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Gråsten Palace is best known for being the summer residence of the Danish Royal Family. It is located in Gråsten in the Jutland region of southern Denmark. The main house has a modern, all-white facade, with Venetian doors opening onto sweeping, manicured lawns and gravel walkways. The grounds include a huge stables court.
At the time of her birth, only males could ascend the throne of Denmark, owing to the changes in succession laws enacted in the 1850s when the Glücksburg branch was chosen to succeed. As she had no brothers, it was assumed that her uncle Prince Knud would one day assume the throne.
The process of changing the constitution started in 1947, not long after her father ascended the throne and it became clear that Queen Ingrid would have no more children. The popularity of Frederick and his daughters and the more prominent role of women in Danish life started the complicated process of altering the constitution. The law required that the proposal be passed by two successive Parliaments and then by a referendum, which occurred 27 March 1953. The new Act of Succession permitted female succession to the throne of Denmark, according to male-preference cognatic primogeniture, where a female can ascend to the throne only if she does not have a brother. Princess Margrethe therefore became heir presumptive.
On her eighteenth birthday, 16 April 1958, Margrethe was given a seat in the Council of State. She subsequently chaired the meetings of the Council in the absence of the King.
In 1960, together with the princesses of Sweden and Norway, she travelled to the United States, which included a visit to Los Angeles, and to the Paramount Studios, where they met several celebrities, including Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis and Elvis Presley.
Margrethe was educated at the private school N. Zahle's School in Copenhagen from which she graduated in 1959. She spent a year at North Foreland Lodge, a boarding school for girls in Hampshire, England,and later studied prehistoric archaeology at Girton College, Cambridge, during 1960–1961, political science at Aarhus University between 1961 and 1962, attended the Sorbonne in 1963, and was at the London School of Economics in 1965. She is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London.
Queen Margrethe is fluent in Danish, French, English, Swedish and German, and has a limited knowledge of Faroese.
Princess Margrethe married a French diplomat, Count Henri de Laborde de Monpezat, 10 June 1967, at the Church of Holmen in Copenhagen. Laborde de Monpezat received the style and title of "His Royal Highness Prince Henrik of Denmark" because of his new position as the spouse of the heir presumptive to the Danish throne.They were married for over fifty years, until his death on 13 February 2018.
Margrethe gave birth to her first child 26 May 1968. By tradition, Danish kings were alternately named either Frederick or Christian. She chose to maintain this by assuming the position of a Christian, and thus named her eldest son Frederik. A second child, named Joachim, was born 7 June 1969.
Shortly after King Frederick IX delivered his New Year's Address to the Nation at the 1971/72 turn of the year, he fell ill. At his death 14 days later, 14 January 1972, Margrethe succeeded to the throne at the age of 31, becoming the first female Danish sovereign under the new Act of Succession. She was proclaimed Queen from the balcony of Christiansborg Palace 15 January 1972, by Prime Minister Jens Otto Krag. Queen Margrethe II relinquished all the monarch's former titles except the title to Denmark, hence her style "By the Grace of God, Queen of Denmark" (Danish: Margrethe den Anden, af Guds Nåde Danmarks Dronning). The Queen chose the motto: God's help, the love of The People, Denmark's strength.
In her first address to the people, Queen Margrethe II said:
My beloved father, our King, is dead. The task that my father had carried for nearly 25 years is now resting on my shoulders. I pray to God to give me help and strength to carry the heavy heritage. May the trust that was given to my father also be granted to me.
The Queen's main tasks are to represent the Kingdom abroad and to be a unifying figure at home. She receives foreign ambassadors and awards honours and medals. The Queen performs the latter task by accepting invitations to open exhibitions, attending anniversaries, inaugurating bridges, etc.
As an unelected public official, the Queen takes no part in party politics and does not express any political opinions. Although she has the right to vote, she opts not to do so to avoid even the appearance of partisanship.
After an election where the incumbent Prime Minister does not have a majority behind him or her, the Queen holds a “Dronningerunde” (Queen's meeting) in which she meets the chairmen of each of the Danish political parties.
Each party has the choice of selecting a Royal Investigator to lead these negotiations or alternatively, give the incumbent Prime Minister the mandate to continue his government as is. In theory each party could choose its own leader as Royal Investigator, the social liberal Det Radikale Venstre did so in 2006, but often only one Royal Investigator is chosen plus the Prime Minister, before each election. The leader who, at that meeting succeeds in securing a majority of the seats in the Folketing, is by royal decree charged with the task of forming a new government. (It has never happened in more modern history that any party has held a majority on its own.)
Once the government has been formed, it is formally appointed by the Queen. Officially, it is the Queen who is the head of government, and she therefore presides over the Council of State (privy council), where the acts of legislation which have been passed by the parliament are signed into law. In practice, however, nearly all of the Queen's formal powers are exercised by the Cabinet of Denmark.
In addition to her roles in her own country, the Queen is also the Colonel-in-Chief of the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment (Queen's and Royal Hampshires), an infantry regiment of the British Army, following a tradition in her family.
Queen Margrethe II celebrated her Ruby Jubilee, the 40th year on the throne, on 14 January 2012.This was marked by a carriage procession, a gala banquet at Christiansborg Palace and numerous TV interviews.
In an interview within the 2016 book De dybeste rødder (en: The Deepest Roots) she showed, according to historians at the Saxo Institute of the University of Copenhagen, a change in attitude to immigration towards a more restrictive stance. She stated that the Danish people should have more explicitly clarified the rules and values of Danish culture in order to be able to teach them to new arrivals. She further stated that the Danes in general have underestimated the difficulties involved in successful integration of immigrants, exemplified with the rules of a democracy not being clarified to Muslim immigrants and a lack of readiness to enforce those rules. This was received as a change in line with the attitude of the Danish people.
The official residences of the Queen are Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen and Fredensborg Palace. Her summer residence is Gråsten Palace near Sønderborg, the former home of her mother, Queen Ingrid, who died in 2000.
Margrethe is an accomplished painter, and has held many art shows over the years. Her illustrations—under the pseudonym Ingahild Grathmer—were used for the Danish edition of The Lord of the Rings , which she was encouraged to illustrate in the early 1970s. She sent them to J. R. R. Tolkien who was struck by the similarity of her drawings to his own style. Margrethe's drawings were redrawn by the British artist Eric Fraser in the translation published in 1977 and re-issued in 2002. In 2000, she illustrated Henrik, the Prince Consort's poetry collection Cantabile. She is also an accomplished translator and is said to have participated in the Danish translation of The Lord of the Rings.Another skill she possesses is costume designing, having designed the costumes for the Royal Danish Ballet's production of A Folk Tale and for the 2009 Peter Flinth film, De vilde svaner (The Wild Swans). She also designs her own clothes and is known for her colourful and sometimes eccentric clothing choices. Margrethe also wears designs by former Pierre Balmain designer Erik Mortensen, Jørgen Bender, and Birgitte Taulow. The Guardian in March 2013 listed her as one of the fifty best-dressed over 50s.
Margrethe is a chain smoker, and she is famous for her tobacco habit.However, on 23 November 2006, the Danish newspaper B.T. reported an announcement from the Royal Court stating that in future the Queen would smoke only in private.
A statement in a 2005 authorized biography about the Queen (entitled Margrethe) focused on her views of Islam: "We are being challenged by Islam these years. Globally as well as locally. There is something impressive about people for whom religion imbues their existence, from dusk to dawn, from cradle to grave. There are also Christians who feel this way. There is something endearing about people who give themselves up completely to their faith. But there is likewise something frightening about such a totality, which also is a feature of Islam. A counterbalance has to be found, and one has to, at times, run the risk of having unflattering labels placed on you. For there are some things for which one should display no tolerance. And when we are tolerant, we must know whether it is because of convenience or conviction."
The Queen has two sons and eight grandchildren, all born at Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen:
In 2008, the Queen announced that her male-line descendants would bear the additional title of Count or Countess of Monpezat, in recognition of her husband's ancestry.
She is the 1,188th knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece in Spain, and only the 7th Lady of the Order of the Garter since 1901, when King Edward VII appointed his consort a member. She is also Colonel-in-Chief of The Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment (Queen's and Royal Hampshires) in the United Kingdom.
Queen Margrethe II Land in Northeast Greenland was named in her honour on 16 April 1990 on the occasion of her 50th birthday.
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|Ancestors of Margrethe II of Denmark|
Queen Silvia of Sweden is the spouse of King Carl XVI Gustaf and mother of the heir apparent to the throne, Crown Princess Victoria. In 2011, Silvia became the longest-serving queen of Sweden, a record previously held by Sophia of Nassau.
Mette-Marit, Crown Princess of Norway is the wife of Crown Prince Haakon, heir apparent to the throne of Norway.
Frederick IX was King of Denmark from 1947 to 1972.
Ingrid of Sweden was Queen of Denmark from 1947 until 1972 as the wife of King Frederick IX.
Queen Mathilde of Belgium is the wife of King Philippe, who ascended the throne following the abdication of his father, King Albert II, on 21 July 2013. She is the first Belgian-born Queen of the Belgians.
Prince Joachim of Denmark, Count of Monpezat, is the younger son of Queen Margrethe II and Prince Henrik. Joachim is sixth in the line of succession to the Danish throne, following his elder brother, Crown Prince Frederik, and Frederik's four children.
Frederik, Crown Prince of Denmark, Count of Monpezat, is the heir apparent to the throne of Denmark. Frederik is the elder son of Queen Margrethe II and the late Henrik, Prince Consort.
Princess Astrid, Mrs. Ferner is the second daughter of King Olav V of Norway and his wife, Princess Märtha of Sweden. She is the older sister of King Harald V of Norway and younger sister of the late Princess Ragnhild.
Mary, Crown Princess of Denmark, Countess of Monpezat, is the wife of Frederik, Crown Prince of Denmark. Frederik is the heir apparent to the throne, which means that should Frederik succeed, she will automatically become Queen of Denmark.
Princess Margaretha, Mrs. Ambler, is a Swedish princess, the eldest sister of King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden and also first cousin of Queen Margrethe II of Denmark.
Princess Désirée, Baroness Silfverschiöld is the third child of Prince Gustaf Adolf, Duke of Västerbotten, and Princess Sibylla of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, and granddaughter of King Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden. Her younger brother is King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden.
Princess Christina, Mrs. Magnuson, is the youngest of four older sisters of King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden. She generally uses the name Christina Magnuson.
A royal family order is a decoration conferred by the head of a royal family to their female relations. Such an order is considered more of a personal memento than a state decoration, although it may be worn during official state occasions.
Richard, 6th Prince of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg was the head of the House of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg and husband of Princess Benedikte of Denmark.
Princess Marie of Denmark, Countess of Monpezat, is the second wife of Prince Joachim of Denmark.
Princess Caroline-Mathilde of Denmark was a daughter of Prince Harald of Denmark and granddaughter of King Frederick VIII of Denmark. As the wife of Knud, Hereditary Prince of Denmark, she became Hereditary Princess of Denmark.
Princess Joséphine Charlotte of Belgium was Grand Duchess consort of Luxembourg as the wife of Grand Duke Jean. She was a first cousin of Harald V of Norway. She was the first child of King Leopold III of Belgium, and sister of the late King Baudouin I and former King Albert II and aunt of King Philippe I.
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Margrethe II of Denmark
Cadet branch of the House of OldenburgBorn: 16 April 1940
| Queen of Denmark |
14 January 1972 – present