Thursday, 20 Jan 2022

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark ‘inspired by’ Queen Elizabeth II: ‘Very important to me’

Queen Margrethe praises the Queen's dedication in 2012

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Margrethe II of Denmark will celebrate her Golden Jubilee today, marking 50 years on the throne. She has held the position since the death of her father King Frederick IX in 1972. When she was born in 1940, she was not in line to inherit the throne, despite being her father’s eldest child.

However, a constitutional change in Denmark in 1953 allowed females to succeed the throne.

She was considered “throne heiress” from this point on, and became the first Queen of Denmark in her own right almost 20 years later.

As the only two Queen regnants in Europe, Margrethe enjoys a close friendship with Queen Elizabeth II.

By strange coincidence, they share the same jubilee year, with Elizabeth ascending to the British throne 20 years earlier.

Margrethe lapped praise on her British counterpart in a 2012 interview to celebrate her own 40th jubilee and Elizabeth’s 60th.

She told the BBC at the time: “First of all, it’s a very strange coincidence that our jubilees should be in the same year and the fact that the Queen of Great Britain has her 60th jubilee is a wonderful thing.

“I really want to congratulate her and I want to congratulate her nation for the fantastic years she’s served.

“She has always been somebody I have admired. I also happen to know her very well, or fairly well anyway.”

Elizabeth and Margrethe are third cousins.

Third cousins traditionally share a great-great-grandparent, and descend from the children of that great-great-grandparent.

Elizabeth and Margrethe share two — Queen Victoria and King Christian IX of Denmark.

Margrethe is also a relative of Prince Philip. The late Duke of Edinburgh was born a Prince of Greece and Denmark, and shares ancestry with Margrethe through Victoria and Christian IX.

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Margrethe told the BBC that Elizabeth has always “inspired” her.

She said: “I think she’s inspired me with one particular thing, right from the start when even before she was Queen, when she talked about dedicating herself to her nation.

“I remember thinking when I was quite young, and long before my father had died, that that was really what it is all about.

“I felt that very much 40 years ago, that day when I was proclaimed, that somehow or other I would dedicate my life to my nation like she has done.

Royal wedding of Queen Margrethe II in 1967

“In that way she’s been very important to me.”

Margrethe studied at the University of Cambridge and the Sorbonne in France before ascending to the throne.

Alongside her late husband Prince Henrik, who died in 2018, they have established a very impressive reputation.

The Danish monarch, famed for her artistic prowess, is popular among Danes and widely admired for sidestepping scandals and helping to modernise the country’s Royal Family.

Historian Lars Hovebakke Sorensen recently told the AFP: “The basis of her popularity is that the Queen is absolutely non-political.

“She has managed to be a Queen who has united the Danish nation in a time of large changes: globalisations, the appearance of the multicultural state, economic crises in the Seventies, Eighties and again in 2008 to 2015, and the pandemic.”

Margrethe will mark the jubilee by laying a wreath at her parents’ grave in the city of Roskilde.

Owing to ongoing coronavirus restrictions in Denmark, large scale celebrations have been cancelled.

Instead, they will take place in September, with a series of events planned for September 10 and 11.

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