Margrethe II (Margrethe Alexandrine Þórhildur Ingrid) is the Queen of Denmark. She is also Commander-of-Chief of the Danish Defence and supreme authority of the church of Denmark. Upon the death of her father, she became the queen when some changes were made in the constitutional amendments that women are allowed to inherit the throne. After she succeeded on the throne, she became the first female monarch of Denmark since Margrethe I, who ruled over the Scandinavian kingdoms from 1374 to 1412 around the Kalmar Union (1397 to 1523). Margrethe is the second longest-serving monarch in Danish history and completed her 50 years as Head of State of Demark, the Faroe Islands, and Greenland.
Margrethe II was born on Tuesday, 16 April 1940 (age 82 years; as of 2022) in Amalienborg, Copenhagen, Denmark. She was born at the Amalienborg Palace Complex which was the chief residence of the royal family of Denmark in central Copenhagen. She was born one week after Nazi Germany’s invasion of Denmark, which took place on 9 April 1940. From 1946 to 1955, she did her schooling in a private school named N. Zahles School in Copenhagen and was a private student at Amalienborg for three years (1946-1949). She went on to study in New Hampshire in England, where she spent a year at a boarding school for girls named North Foreland Lodge from 1955 to 1956. She took private lessons and graduated from N. Zahles school with the upper secondary examination certificate (language line) in 1959. For one year, from 1960 to 1961, she studied prehistoric archaeology at Girton College, Cambridge and earned a diploma. From 1961 to 1962, she attended Aarhus University to study political science. In 1963, she joined Sorbonne also known as the University of Paris. Later, studied at the London School of Economics in 1965.
Height (approx.): 5′ 9″
Hair Colour: Grey
Eye Colour: Blue
Zodiac Sign: Aries
Margrethe II belongs to the royal family of Denmark. She was born into the House of Glucksburg which was a cadet branch of the House of Oldenburg. She was the first child of the Crown Prince, Frederick IX and Crown Princess, Victoria Sofia Louise Margareta.
Parents & Siblings
She was born to the King of Denmark, Frederick IX and Ingrid of Sweden, Victoria Sofia Louise Margareta. She has two younger sisters. In 1944, her younger sister Princess Benedikte was born. When Margrethe was 6 years old, in 1946, her second sister, Princess Anne-Marie was born. Princess Benedikte often represents Queen Margrethe II at various official and semi-official events.
Wife & Children
In 1967, she married Prince Henrik of Denmark (Henri Marie Jean André de Laborde de Monpezat), who was a French Diplomat. She has two sons. In 1968, she gave birth to the Crown Prince of Denmark, Frederik who is the Count of Monpezat. One year later, in 1969, her second son Prince Joachim of Denmark, Count of Monpezat was born. The elder son, Prince Frederik is going to be the next king of Denmark.
Queen of Denmark
Before she became the queen of Denmark, according to the changes in laws of succession enacted in the 1850s when the Gluckesburg branch succeeded, only males were allowed to be the heirs of the throne of Denmark. On 14 January 1972, her father and King of Denmark passed away, which rose the question that who would become the next successor of the throne? Margrethe did not have any brothers, which is the reason why it was considered that her uncle Prince Knud would ascend the throne.
When Margrethe’s father, Frederick IX became the king of Denmark and Margrethe’s mother could not have any more children, which started the process of changing the constitution started in 1947. The new ‘Act of Succession’ by male-preference cognatic primogeniture which came to force in 1947 allowed females to become the heiress of the throne only when she does not have a brother.
After 14 days of her father’s death, Princess Margrethe became the heir presumptive of the throne at the age of 31. She was the first Danish female that became a monarch after the implementation of the ‘Act of Succession’. When she first addressed the people of Denmark, Queen Margrethe 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.”
Duties as the Queen
The Queen’s role is to represent her country internationally and be a representative of unity at home. She is invited to open exhibitions, attend anniversaries, and inaugurate bridges. Her duties include receiving foreign ambassadors, awards, honours and medals. She is not allowed to take part in any politics or share any political opinions, however, she has the right to vote.
Every Wednesday, a meeting is conducted by the Queen with the prime minister and the foreign affairs minister.
After the elections, when the government is formed, it is scheduled by the Queen ceremoniously. Queen is the head of the government and she conducts the Council of State, where the bills passed by the parliament are transformed into law. The Cabinet of Denmark has the power to exercise most of the official powers of the Queen.
Besides being the Queen, she is also given the designation of colonel-in-chief of the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment, which is the British Army’s infantry regiment. It is a tradition in her family which has to be followed.
Silver, Ruby and Golden Jubilees
In 1997, Queen Margrethe II celebrated her 25 years on the throne and conducted a religious service and a gala dinner that was attended by fellow Scandinavian royals. On 14 January 2012, the queen marked her Ruby Jubilee and celebrated 4o years of her reign. For the celebration, a church service, concert, carriage procession, gala banquet at Chriansborg palace and many TV interviews were arranged.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, an announcement on 17 December 2021 was made by the Royal House of Denmark that most part of the celebration will take place in the late summer of 2022. In 2022, the Queen celebrated her Golden Jubilee for completing her half-century on the throne. In the morning, the queen and Crown Prince Frederick joined the Council of State meeting. After that, Danish Parliament officially celebrated Queen’s 50 years in the Landsting Chamber at Christiansborg Palace. Around noon, a ceremony of wreath layering at the tomb of King Frederick IX and Ingrid of Sweden at Roskilde Cathedral. The Royal Family arranged a surprise dinner party for the Queen in the evening in Christian VII’s Palace at Amalienborg. The Queen received digital greetings on the Royal website rather than written congratulations in person at the Yellow Palace due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The Queen is a Chain Smoker!
Margrethe used to be a chain smoker and is infamously known for her tobacco habit, but due to new laws regarding smoking, she had to reduce her habit of smoking continuously. After the announcement was made by the Royal Court, on 23 November 2006, Danish Newspaper, B.T. published the announcement that Queen is only allowed to smoke in private. Hence, she stopped smoking in public.
You Don’t Become a Dane by Living in Denmark
In a book named ‘De dybeste rødder’ (The Deepest Roots) by Thomas Larsen, there are interviews of Queen Margrethe II in which she talks about the most controversial topics. She believes that we should clearly set and clarify the ground rules and values of Danish culture in order to teach the people who are trying to become a part of Danish society. She realised that Danes have not taken the task of making integration an achievement seriously, illustrating the fact that the Muslim community has not understood the rules of Danish democracy and was ready to challenge them.
We probably thought that kind of thing would go away on its own. If you walked the streets of Copenhagen and drank the municipal water and took the municipal bus, you would probably become a Dane in a short time. It was so obvious to us, and that’s why we thought it must be so for those who settled and lived here. That was not the case. We have learned that. It is not a law of nature that you become a Dane by living in Denmark. You do not necessarily do that. The pot in the pot needs to be changed a bit, I think. You can keep your roots, but you have to make sure that the soil is fresh, “says the Queen in the book.
According to the Queen, she had a different outlook on the development, since the 1960s, when immigration almost disappeared, and all Danish people considered it exciting. To this thought, the Queen said,
We can not pretend that it just goes away by itself. It does not. We thought that a transition. Many of us felt that when people came to a strange place, they were the kind of open-ended paper that attracted the new. But people do not have so much blotting paper in their feet that it penetrates them. Maybe it’s also about when so many come at once from such different conditions and with a particular religion, it gets harder. They will isolate themselves and live in isolation, with or without their will.”
Awards & Honours
- Cross of Honour of the Order of the Dannebrog
- Order of the Elephant
- Homeguard Medal of Merit
- 25 years of Homeguard Service Medal
- Medal of Honour of the League of Civil Defence
- Medal of Honour of the Reserve Officers League
- 100th Anniversary Medal of the Birth of King Christian X
- 50th Anniversary Medal of the arrival of Queen Ingrid to Denmark
- 100th Anniversary Medal of the Birth of King Frederik IX
- Queen Ingrid Commemorative Medal
- Nersornaat Medal for Meritorious Service, 1st Class
- Queen Margrethe II Land in Northeast Greenland was named in her honour on 16 April 1990 on the occasion of her 50th birthday.
- Grand Cross of the Order of the Liberator San Martín
- Grand Cross of the Decoration for Services to the Republic of Austria
- Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Leopold I
- Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of the Southern Cross
- Grand Cross of the Order of the Stara Planina
- Grand Cross of the Order of the Merit of Chile
- Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana
- Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of the Nile
- Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of the White Rose
- Grand Cross of the Order of the Legion of Honour
- Grand Cross Special Class of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany
- Dame Grand Cross of the Order of Saints Olga and Sophia
- Grand Cross of the Order of the Redeemer
- Grand Cross of the Order of the Falcon
Iranian Imperial Family
- Dame Grand Cordon of the Order of the Pleiades
- Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic
- Knight Grand Cordon with Collar of the Order of the Chrysanthemum
- Grand Cordon (Paulownia) of the Order of the Precious Crown
- Knight Grand Cordon with Collar of the Order of Al-Hussein bin Ali
- Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of the Three Stars
- Grand Cross of the Order of Vytautas the Great
- Knight of the Order of the Gold Lion of the House of Nassau
- Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of the Aztec Eagle
- Grand Cordon of the Order of Ouissam Alaouite
- Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Netherlands Lion
Nepalese Royal Family
- Member Grand Cross of the Order of Honour
- Knight Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of St. Olav
- Recipient of the Silver Jubilee Medal of King Olav V
- Recipient of the Silver Jubilee Medal of King Harald V
- Grand Cross of the Order of the White Eagle
- Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland
- Grand Cross with Collar of the Military Order of Saint James of the Sword
- Grand Collar of the Order of Prince Henry
- Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of the Star of Romania
- The Collar of the Order of Abdulaziz Al Saud
- Grand Cross of the Order of the White Double Cross
- On the occasion of her 80th birthday, she received the Tree of Peace Memorial Plaque on 16 April 2020.
- Member 1st Class of the Order of Freedom of the Republic of Slovenia
- Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece
- Knight Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of Charles III
- Member Grand Cross with Collar of the Royal Order of the Seraphim
- Recipient of the 85th Birthday Medal of King Gustaf VI Adolf
- Recipient of the 40th Birthday Medal of King Carl XVI Gustaf
- Recipient of the Ruby Jubilee Medal of King Carl XVI Gustaf
- Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of Good Hope
- Grand Cross with Collar of the Grand Order of Mugunghwa
- Knight of the Order of the Rajamitrabhorn
- Knight of the Order of the Royal House of Chakri
United Arab Emirates
- Grand Cordon of the Order of Al Kamal
- Stranger Knight of the Order of the Garter (7th Lady since 1901; 1979)
- Recipient of the Royal Victorian Chain (1974)
- Great Star of the Order of the Yugoslav Star
Margrethe II owns a 1958 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith seven-seater Limousine, which is a Royal Danish Ceremonial Car known as “Store Krone” (Great Crown). Her father, Frederik IX of Denmark bought this car as new from Hooper & Co. in London.
Other than that, she uses different other cars for common occasions. She has three cars, namely, Krone (Crown) 1, 2 and 5, all three of them are eight-seater Limousines made in 1970, 1989 and 1986, respectively. In 2012, she purchased a Bentley Mulsanne which replaced Bentley Arnage. The cars that are used to carry around the members of the Danish Royal Family within Denmark have a unique pattern to name the license plate of the car. First, the name Krone is written then its number, for example, Krone 121. She also has a hybrid Limousine, the Lexus LS 600hL in her collection.
- She is a skilled and praised painter and has organised many art shows in past years. Her art pieces have been displayed and Sweden, Iceland, Germany and Norway, where her works gained huge attention. To make some time for her recreational hobby and to relax, she takes Thursday afternoons off work. Her exceptional illustrations were used in the making of the Danish edition of “The Lord of the Rings.”
- She has created Christmas seals and donated illustrated books and calendars made by her to charity.
- Margrethe is fond of archaeology and she has taken part in multiple excavations that took place in Italy, Egypt, Denmark and South America. When she told him about her interest in archaeology to her grandfather, they both went to Etruria, which is located in central Italy for discovering artefacts in 1962.
- In 1960, she went on a trip to the United States with the princesses of Sweden and Norway. She visited Los Angeles and the Paramount Studios, where she got the chance to meet multiple famous celebrities, including Elvis Presley, Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin.
- Margrethe is a fluent speaker of several languages such as Danish, French, English, Swedish and German, and has finite information about Faroese.
- Queen Margrethe II has been featured on multiple stamps throughout her entire life. In 1941, it was the first time when she was featured on a stamp in which she was sitting on her mother’s lap.
- She is a member of the Society of Antiquaries of London (SAL).
- Margrethe was named after her late maternal grandmother, Crown Princess Margaret of Sweden.
- People used to endearingly call her “Daisy” when she was a child.
- The Queen is a supporter of many associations, foundations and organisations such as the Royal Danish Geographical Society, The Hans Christian Andersen Ballet Award, and the Danish UNICEF Committee.
- Her official motto is “God’s help, the love of The People, Denmark’s strength.”
- In an interview with a news agency in Denmark named Ritzau, The queen’s sons revealed that she likes to watch the “Olsen Gang” films.
- According to Ritzau, Queen Margrethe II loves birds and has been a member of the Danish Ornithological Society for 15 years. Her first bird pet was a pair of Canary birds which she named “Mr & Mrs.”
- The Queen is very well known for her fashion sense. She wears clothes by designers like former Pierre Balmain designer Erik Mortensen, Birgitte Thaulow and more. In 2013, The Guardian, which is a British newspaper mentioned her in the list of fifty best-dressed over the 50s. An article was published by British Vogue in which she was called an “An Unsung Style Heroine.”
- She is a skilled designer and has designed clothes for herself. She wears both brightly coloured and chic clothes. She has also designed costumes for the ballet act ‘A Folk Tale’ by Royal Danish Ballet and for a film named ‘De vilde svaner’ by Peter Flinth in 2009.