The Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II has been fêted as a welcomed four-day celebration set to take place in the UK in 2022, and while her 70th year on the throne is a significant milestone, she won’t be the only monarch to celebrating.
Excitement is surely building in the UK, but who is the other queen celebrating a major milestone this year? Well, it is also a jubilee year for Queen Margrethe of Denmark, with the occasion recently marked by the Duchess of Cambridge during a visit to the country. The 82-year-old Danish queen is commemorating her Golden Jubilee for 50 years on the throne, but what else is there to know about her?
Margrethe was the first of three daughters born to Crown Prince Frederick and Crown Princess Ingrid (later King Frederick IX and Queen Ingrid) on April 16, 1940. The Danish throne had historically only been passed down through the male line; but, when Frederick IX and Queen Ingrid had only daughters, the constitution was changed in 1953 to allow for female succession in the case of no of a male heir. As a result, she was only the second ever Queen of Denmark when she succeeded to the throne in 1972. Because her name, Margrethe, is similar to a Danish flower (which is also Denmark’s national flower), she has been nicknamed ‘Aunt Daisy.’
She grew up in Copenhagen, where she lived in apartments at Frederick VIII’s Palace at Amalienborgm and attended a private school there, also spending a year at North Foreland Lodge in Hampshire, England. She’s also really really smart… She went on to study prehistoric archaeology at Cambridge University and political science at Aarhus University, demonstrating her enthusiasm for learning. She also found time to study at the Sorbonne and the London School of Economics too. You certainly won’t be surprised to hear that she speaks five languages fluently, including Danish, English, French, Swedish, and German.
As well as a long reign, another similarity she shares with Her Majesty the Queen is her long marriage: Queen Margrethe was married for over 50 years to the French diplomat, Henri de Laborde de Monpezat. The two met at a French Embassy official dinner in London and kept their relationship a secret from the media until their engagement. Henri proposed with a ‘moi et toi’ style ring, which had two big square-cut diamonds, one to represent each of them. The bride wore a Jorgen Bender gown with lace from her grandmother, Princess Margaret of Connaught, and the Khedive of Egypt tiara to her wedding on June 10, 1967. The ceremony was kept short, as Margrethe did not want to stand out from other ‘normal’ couples, and the groom learned his vows in Danish. The couple have two children, Crown Prince Frederik and Prince Joachim.
Margrethe has pursued a career in the art world in addition to her duties as monarch. She was revealedtp have been a set designer for the fantasy film Ehrengard in 2021, after previously working on the costumes for The Nutcracker and The Snow Queen stage productions. Her work impressed author J.R.R. Tolkien, who commissioned her to illustrate the Danish versions of Lord of the Rings.
Given her passion for the arts, it’s no wonder that she has a unique and eccentric sense of style, typically donning brightly coloured and printed outfits. The monarchy enjoys widespread public support in Denmark, with approval rates consistently exceeding 80%, owed in large part to her personability.