The queen, affectionately called “Daisy” by her people, celebrated half a century on the throne yesterday
Becoming queen at the age of 31 on a foggy January day, Margrethe II modestly celebrates her 50th birthday due to the pandemic, while awaiting public celebrations in September.
Creative nature, this devoted to art queen, who always behaves with dignity and is impeccably dressed, has passed through this half century flawlessly and without wrong steps, far from the adventures of the English monarchy, uniting his people more and more.
“When she ascended the throne, only 45 percent of Danes supported the monarchy. They did not believe that the monarchy had its place in modern democracy,” journalist Gita Reder, author of books on the Danish royal court, told AFP.
Today, the Danish monarchy is among the most popular in the world, and its monarch, whose reign is the second longest in the country’s history, is a true institution.
In 2018, a Voxmeter poll found that more than three-quarters of Danes support the monarchy, while only 14.6 percent want a republic.
“The basis of this popularity is that the queen is not a political figure at all, she unites the nation, not divides it,” historian Lars Hovebake Sørensen told AFP.
“She managed to be the queen who united the Danish nation, which underwent many changes: globalization, the emergence of a multicultural state, the economic crises of the 1970s and 1980s, and again between 2008 and 2015, and the COVID-19 pandemic, “the historian said.
The first queen
She became queen on January 14, 1972, after the death of her father, Frederick the Ninth, the mother of two children and now the grandmother of eight grandchildren, then the first woman to ascend the throne of the oldest surviving European royal court. Although Margrethe I reigned over Denmark between 1375 and 1412, and also for a shorter period over Norway and Sweden, she did not bear the title of queen.
“The Queen has a strong sense of duty and has never questioned her vocation,” said historian Tom Buk-Sventi.
In a documentary, Margrethe II confided that she learned from her father to receive the love of her subjects. “You have to get it. You don’t just have to wave to them,” Frederick the Ninth told her.
Widowed since 2018, the queen, affectionately called “Daisy” by her people, helped to gradually modernize the monarchy without reducing it to something trivial. A costume designer and set designer, she did not hesitate to answer questions from journalists at press conferences and recently allowed herself to be interviewed by about twenty Danes during a program to celebrate her anniversary.
Always with a flawless bun, which rarely appears in photos with her hair down, the queen loves to walk around the country with her sincere smile and every summer she cruises with her yacht “Daneborg”, spending the summer season at the castle “Cais” in France , bought together with her late husband Prince Henry, who is of French descent.
“From an early age, she was extremely curious about the world … and traveled halfway around the globe before turning 25,” Buk-Sventi recalled. Her erudition and numerous talents set her an example for Danes, who reverently watch her television appearances, especially her speeches.
“Her speeches are always extremely good. They always give the impression that you are learning something,” said Hovebake Sorensen.
An intellectual and polyglot, she tried her hand at translation, creating in 1981, under a pseudonym and in collaboration with her husband, a Danish version of Simone de Beauvoir’s “All Men Are Mortal.”
However, the queen stands out above all with her drawings and paintings. Margrethe II has illustrated many literary works, such as John R. R. Tolkien’s 2002 book, The Lord of the Rings.
Her paintings are exhibited in prestigious museums and galleries in Denmark and abroad. Although she is almost 82 years old, the queen does not intend to retire. “I will remain on the throne until I fall from it,” the sworn smoker warned.
In the northern country, with a population of 5.8 million, there is no tradition of abdication. The only king who has abdicated in the history of this millennial monarchy is Eric III. Crowned in 1137, he decided nine years later to renounce the royal tiara and cut his hair as a monk.
Currently, 54 percent of Danes believe that despite her age, the queen should not abdicate, although 83 percent believe that her son, Crown Prince Frederick, 53, is ready to succeed her.