Friday January 14, 2022
“Moral Compass” of the Danes Margrethe II celebrates 50th anniversary of the throne
Sometimes she might be a little unconventional. But above all, Queen Margrethe II is a constant in the lives of Danes. She has been on the throne for 50 years. This will be honored with a ceremony in Copenhagen.
Queen Margrethe II has been Danish head of state for half a century now. For the 50th anniversary of the throne, the popular monarch was officially honored at a smaller ceremony in Parliament at Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen – larger festivities had been postponed to mid-September due to the corona pandemic. Dressed in a powder blue outfit with a matching hat, Margrethe followed the whole thing with interest and – as so often – a smile on her face. Some fans also stopped by in Copenhagen to honor the Queen. (Photo: picture alliance / Ritzau Scanpix) Margrethe died after the death of her father Frederik IX. became the Danish head of state on 14 January 1972. At that time, tens of thousands of people cheered her on the streets of Copenhagen – 50 years later such scenes were not possible due to the corona. Nevertheless, some Danes gathered in front of Christiansborg Palace to wave to her. Not far away, a few dozen demonstrators protested loudly against the current corona restrictions. In addition to the EU country Denmark, Margrethe’s kingdom also includes Greenland and the small Faroe Islands. In Europe, only the British Queen Elizabeth II sits longer on the throne – the 95-year-old is even celebrating her 70th anniversary of the throne this year.
Enthusiasm for art and culture
Like the Queen, Margrethe sees her role as a life purpose. She herself is regarded as pragmatic and sometimes a bit unconventional, her New Year’s speeches are an integral part of the Danes’ New Year’s celebrations. Margrethe’s enthusiasm for art and culture is well known, and during her last state visit to Germany in November 2021 she visited various cultural institutions in Berlin and Munich. For the Danish people, Margrethe is one thing above all: a constant. The Danes could have gathered around the Queen during all the changes of the past 50 years, said Parliament Speaker Henrik Dam Kristensen at the ceremony at Christiansborg Palace. With her statements and her actions, Margrethe is “a moral compass” that deserves respect as head of state, artist and mother and that one can look up to. Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen also underlined Margrethe’s importance for Denmark. Especially in Corona times, the monarch’s commitment was invaluable, she said. Even after 50 years, she fulfills her duties with an infectious joy. “Your great commitment is reflected in either a big smile or deep wrinkles on your forehead, without any filter,” said Frederiksen.
She hopes she “made an effort”
The monarch then traveled by royal train to Roskilde Cathedral, where the royal family laid a total of five wreaths at the grave of Frederik IX. laid down. In the city, a good 30 kilometers west of Copenhagen, Margrethe welcomed a few hundred onlookers who cheered loudly and sometimes waved red and white Denmark flags. As before in Parliament, her sons, Crown Prince Frederik and Prince Joachim, their wives, Crown Princess Mary and Princess Marie, and one of their younger sisters, Princess Benedikte, were at their side. The Queen wanted to spend the rest of the day privately. Margrethe receives a work of art from the government and parliament that symbolizes the connection between Denmark, the Faroe Islands and Greenland. Three artists from the three parts of the kingdom are to create the work, which should be completed in early 2023, as the Danish State Chancellery announced. Margrethe herself did not give a speech on the anniversary day. In an interview with the weekly newspaper “Søndag” she had spoken in advance, among other things, about the traces she would like to leave as queen. “There’s at least one thing, and I’ve said it before: you want to be remembered for making an effort,” she said. “I mean, that’s very important. To have made an effort is to use what you have inside you.”
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