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HM The Queen of Denmark

Margrethe Alexandrine Þorhildur Ingrid, Her Majesty The Queen, became Queen of Denmark in 1972. HM Queen Margrethe II was born on 16 April 1940 at Amalienborg Palace as the daughter of King Frederik IX (d. 1972) and Queen Ingrid, born Princess of Sweden (d. 2000). The Queen’s motto is "God’s help, the love of The People, Denmark’s strength".

Christened and confirmed

HM The Queen was christened on 14 May 1940 in Holmens Kirke (the naval church) and confirmed on 1 April 1955 at Fredensborg Palace.

The Act of Succession

The Act of Succession of 27 March 1953 gave women the right of succession to the Danish throne, but only secondarily. On the occasion of the accession to the throne on 14 January 1972, HM Queen Margrethe II became the first Danish Sovereign under the new Act of Succession.

A Seat on the State Council

On 16 April 1958, the Heir Apparent, Princess Margrethe, was given a seat on the State Council, and the Heir Apparent subsequently chaired the meetings of the State Council in the absence of King Frederik IX.

Wedding

On 10 June 1967, the Heir Apparent married Henri Marie Jean André Count of Laborde de Monpezat, who in connection with the marriage became HRH Prince Henrik of Denmark. The wedding ceremony took place in Holmens Kirke, and the wedding festivities were held at Fredensborg Palace.

Children

HRH Crown Prince Frederik André Henrik Christian, born on 26 May 1968 and HRH Prince Joachim Holger Waldemar Christian, born on 7 June 1969.

Education

HM The Queen attended Zahles Skole during the years 1946-1955, from 1946 to 1949 as a private pupil at Amalienborg Palace. In the period 1955-1956, HM The Queen was a boarder at North Foreland Lodge, in Hampshire, England. Having received private lessons, Her Majesty graduated from Zahles Skole with the upper secondary examination certificate (language line) in 1959. Next followed the years from 1960 to 1965, when HM The Queen studied at universities in Denmark and other European countries. After having passed the examination in philosophy at Copenhagen University in 1960, HM The Queen studied archaeology in the period 1960-1961 (Diploma in Prehistoric Archaeology) at University of Cambridge. Her Majesty, subsequently, studied political science at Aarhus University in the period 1961-1962, at the Sorbonne in 1963 and at the London School of Economics in 1965.

Language

HM The Queen’s mother tongue is Danish. In addition, Her Majesty speaks French, Swedish, English and German.

Relations to the Defence

HM The Queen performed voluntary service with Women’s Flying Corps in the years 1958-1970, and received comprehensive training in the corps during this period.

HM The Queen is the supreme commander of the Danish Defence Forces.

In addition to the relations to the Danish Defence, HM The Queen has a special connection to particular units of the British Defence. In 1972, Her Majesty was appointed Colonel-in-Chief of The Queen's Regiment, and in 1992 HM The Queen was appointed Colonel-in-Chief of The Princess of Wales' Royal Regiment.

Politics

HM The Queen takes no part in politics and does not express any political opinions.

Tasks and duties as Head of State

Denmark has a Constitutional Monarchy, which means that the monarch cannot independently perform political acts. Although The Queen signs all Acts of Parliament, these only come into force when they have been countersigned by a Cabinet Minister. As Head of State, The Queen participates in the formation of a new government.

After consultation with representatives of the political parties, the Party Leader who has the support of the largest number of seats in the Folketing, (the Danish Parliament), is invited to form a government. Once it has been formed, the monarch will formally appoint it. Additionally, it is The Queen who is the formal Head of the Government and therefore presides over the State Council, where the Acts which have been passed by the Folketing, are signed into law.

The Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs report regularly to The Queen to advise of the latest political developments. The Queen hosts official visits by foreign Heads of State and pays State Visits abroad. The Queen receives every Ambassador from foreign countries and also formally appoints and dismisses civil servants.

The Queen's main tasks are to represent Denmark abroad and to be a figurehead at home. The Queen performs the latter task by accepting invitations to open exhibitions, attending anniversaries, inaugurating bridges etc.

Prizes

In 1989, HM The Queen was awarded the Mother-Tongue Society’s prize, and Her Majesty received the Adeil Order in 1990.

Artistic work

Since 1970, HM The Queen has been actively engaged in a number of artistic modes of expression: painting, church textiles, watercolours, prints, book illustrations, découpage works, scenography and embroidery. A great many of these artistic works have been shown in connection with exhibitions in Denmark and abroad.

The Queen’s artistic works are represented at the following art museums: Statens Museum for Kunst (the Danish national gallery), Aarhus Art Museum, ARoS, and Køge Art Gallery Sketch Collection (sketches for church textiles).

Exhibitions

Køge Art Museum of Sketches and The Glass Museum, Ebeltoft, both 1988; Millesgaarden, Stockholm, 1989; Blaafarveværket, Norway, 1991; Baron Boltens Gaard, Copenhagen, 1991; Gammel Holtegaard, 1993 and Herning Art Gallery, 1993-1994; Schloss Bourglinster, Luxembourg, 1994; Aarhus Art Building, Marienlyst Palace, Helsingør, and the Danish Central Library, Flensburg, all 1998; The National Museum, Reykjavik, (church textiles), 1998; Gallery J.M.S. (together with Dorte Foss), Oslo, 1999; Sofiero Palace, Hälsingborg, together with works of the late Crown Princess Margareta, 2002; The Karen Blixen Museum (découpage works), Rungsted, 2002 and Blaafarveværket, Norway, 2003; The Didrichsen Art Museum, Helsinki, 2002-2003; Yamanashi Hemslöjd, Tokyo, Japan, 2003; Brandts Klædefabrik, Odense, and Waldemarsudde, Stockholm, together with works of the late Prince Eugen, 2003-2004; Museo Stibbert, Firenze, Italy, 2006; The Bakkehus Museum, Copenhagen, together with HRH The Prince Consort, 2007; The Vitskøl Convent, Vendsyssel, 2007.

Public ornament

Altarpiece for Skei Fjellkirke and Østre Gausdal, Norway, 2001

Ecclesiastical textiles

HM The Queen has designed and embroidered chasubles for the Chapel at Fredensborg Palace (1976); the Chapel at Kronborg Castle; Angmagssalik/Tasiillaq Church, Greenland (both 1985); four chasubles and antependia for Haderslev Cathedral (1987-1988); four chasubles for Aarhus Cathedral (1993-1995).

Design and embroidery of bishop's capes

Helsingør Diocese (1986); Viborg Diocese (1989); design of bishop's cape for Haderslev Cathedral (1987-1988) and Aarhus Cathedral (1999).
Design for a wedding rug for the Chapel at Frederiksborg Castle (1999).

Scenography and costumes

Costumes for the TV Theatre’s production of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale “The Shepherdess and the Chimney-Sweep”, 1987; scenography and costumes for the ballet “A Folk Tale”, The Royal Theatre, 1991; scenography (découpage works) and costumes for a film about Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Snow Queen”, 1999-2000. Costumes for the ballet pantomime “Love in the Dustbin” based on fairy tales by Hans Christian Andersen, The Tivoli Pantomime Theatre, 2001; découpage works and sketches for Karen Blixen’s “The Sailor-Boy’s Tale”, Svalegangen’s puppet theatre, 2004.

Book illustrations

J.R.R. Tolkien: “The Lord of The Rings” published in Danish in 1977 and 2002; “The Lord of the Rings” was reissued with HM The Queen’s illustrations in 2002; “Historierne om Regnar Lodbrog” (the tales about Regnar Lodbrog), 1979; “Bjarkemål” (the song of Bjarke), 1982; Poul Ørum: “Komedie i Florens” (comedy in Florence), 1990. Prins Henrik “Cantabile”, 2000 (illustrated with découpage works). National and Family Bible, 2000 (vignettes); “Snedronningen. Et eventyr af H.C. Andersen” and “The Snow Queen. A fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen”, both 2000 (découpage works); Karen Blixen: “Syv fantastiske fortællinger” and “Seven Gothic Tales”, both 2003 (découpage works).

Lithographs

Lithographs for The Danish Yacht Safety Board, 1986; the Danish Red Cross. 1988; costume sketches for “A Folk Tale” for the Danish Red Cross, 1991; Save the Children, 1994; Stentrykkets Venners Kunstnerlegat (artist’s grant by friends of lithography), 2000.

Sketches and studies

The Christmas postage stamp, 1970; illustrations for calendars for The Handicraft Society, 1978 and 1984; The Christmas Spoon of the Year, 1984; the Greenland Christmas postage stamp, 1983; the special postage stamp “The Fifth of May 1945-85”, 1985; postage stamps for The National Association for the Mentally Handicapped, 1988; a calendar for The Sclerosis Society, 1990; watercolours for The Cooperative Association, 1991; watercolours for Save the Children; Christmas cards for the World Wildlife Fund, 1991, 1994 and 1998; post cards for The Danish Seamen’s Church, 1992; illustrations for a DanChurchAid calendar, 1993; playing cards for The Danish Refugee Council, 1994; cards for UNICEF, 1996; a Christmas Heart for Save the Children, 1997; motives for Christmas cards for the World Wildlife Fund, 1998; a poster for the collection “Help the Balkans”, 1999; a calendar for The Danish Cancer Society, together with Bjørn Nørgaard’s tapestries, 2003; a jubilee poster for The Danish Stroke and Aphasia Association and a porcelain dish for Børnehjælpsdagen (child welfare day) both 2004.

Translations

Simone de Beauvoir’s “Tous les hommes sont mortels” into Danish under the assumed name of H.M. Vejerbjerg (HM The Queen together with HRH The Prince Consort). In addition, HM The Queen has translated into Danish: Stig Strömholm’s “Dalen”, “Fälten” and “Skogen”, 1988-1989 and Eric Linklater’s “The Wind on the Moon”, (with cover illustration), 1991.