Margrethe II (1940—)

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article Share Article
views updated

Margrethe II (1940—)

Queen of the constitutional monarchy of Denmark who has reigned since 1972. Name variations: Margaret II or Margrete II; Daisy. Born Margrethe Alexandrine Thorhildur Ingrid on April 16, 1940, in Copenhagen, Denmark; daughter of Frederick IX, king of Denmark (r. 1947–1972), and Queen Ingrid of Sweden (b. 1910); sister of Princess Benedikte (b.1944) and Princess Anne-Marie Oldenburg (b.1946), ex-queen of Greece; graduated from Danish and English primary and secondary schools, attended the Universities of Copenhagen and Aarhus, Cambridge University, and the Sorbonne; married Count Henri or Henrik of Laborde De Montpezat, in 1967: children: two sons, Crown Prince Frederik (b. 1968) and Prince Joachim (b. 1969). The royal family of Denmark has permanent residences at Amalienborg in Copenhagen and Fredensborg in Northern Sealand.

Princess Margrethe was born on April 16, 1940, exactly one week after Hitler's troops occupied Denmark, the daughter of Frederick IX, king of Denmark, and Queen Ingrid of Sweden . The affection and hopefulness with which the Danish people greeted Margrethe's arrival laid the base for the popularity she has enjoyed throughout her reign. The constitutional revision of June 5, 1953, which instituted women's rights of succession, was approved by referendum and thus made Margrethe the first Danish queen to be elected by the population.

Possibly the 13-year-old Margrethe's realization that she would not be "married out of the country," as her mother had been and her sisters were likely to be, reinforced her efforts towards obtaining a well-grounded education. Arguably, she is among the best-educated monarchs of Europe. She graduated from Danish and English primary and secondary schools, attended the Universities of Copenhagen and Aarhus, Cambridge University, and the Sorbonne. She also served in the Danish Women's Flying Corps and the Women's Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) in England. Her avocations are archeology and art. She has done extensive field work, and her artistic talents have been well demonstrated in, among other works, her illustrations for Lord of the Rings and the costumes and scenery she designed for a TV production of Hans Christian Andersen's "The Shepherdess and the Chimney Sweep."

Queen Margrethe works closely with her government and has numerous social and diplomatic engagements in Denmark as well as abroad. On New Year's Eve, she invites the entire population into her home at Amalienborg via her

televised speech. It has become a much-anticipated event because although she gets a draft from members of Parliament, the final version and its execution are entirely her own. She scolds and encourages in tune with the times, but her comments are informed by the vision her intelligence, courage, and sense of humor have consistently granted her. Consequently, she is a respected, honored, and deeply cherished monarch.

sources:

Hansen, Thorkild. Samtale med Dronning Margrethe. Copenhagen: Forum, 1979.

MacHaffe, Ingeborg S., and Margaret A. Nielsen. Of Danish Ways. Minneapolis: Dillon Press, 1979.

Taylor-White, Doreen, ed. Denmark. APA Publications. Singapore: Hofer Press, 1991.

Wolden-Ratinge, Anne. Dronning i Danmark. Copenhagen: Gyldendal, 1989.

Inga Wiehl , a native of Denmark, teaches English at Yakima Valley Community College, Yakima, Washington

More From Encyclopedia.com


You Might Also Like