Friday, January 14, 2022
“Moral compass” of the Danes
Margrethe II celebrates the 50th anniversary of the throne
Sometimes she can be a bit unconventional. But above all, Queen Margrethe II is a constant in the life of the Danes. She has been on the throne for 50 years. This will be honored at a ceremony in Copenhagen.
Queen Margrethe II has been the head of the Danish state for half a century now. For the 50th anniversary of the throne, the popular monarch was officially honored in a small ceremony in Parliament at Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen – the larger festivities had been postponed until 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 often – a smile on her face.
Margrethe is after the death of her father Frederik IX. became the Danish head of state on January 14, 1972. At that time, tens of thousands of people cheered him on the streets of Copenhagen – 50 years later such scenes were not possible due to corona . Nevertheless, some Danes gathered outside Christiansborg Palace to wave to him. Not far away, a few dozen demonstrators protested loudly against the current corona restrictions.
Besides the EU country Denmark, the Kingdom of Margrethe also includes Greenland and the smaller Faroe Islands. In Europe, only Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II sits longer on the throne – the 95-year-old even celebrates her 70th anniversary of the throne this year.
Enthusiasm for art and culture
Like the Queen, Margrethe sees her role as a life goal. She herself is seen as pragmatic and sometimes a bit unconventional, her New Year speeches are an integral part of Danish New Year 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 Danes, Margrethe is above all one thing: a constant. Danes could have rallied around the Queen during all the changes of the past 50 years, Speaker of Parliament Henrik Dam Kristensen said during the ceremony at Christiansborg Palace. With her statements and her actions, Margrethe is “a moral compass” who deserves respect as a head of state, artist and mother and who can be admired.
Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen also stressed Margrethe’s importance to Denmark. Especially in times of Corona, the monarch’s commitment was invaluable, she said. Even after 50 years, she fulfills her duties with contagious joy. “Your great commitment is reflected either in a big smile or in deep wrinkles on your forehead, without any filters,” Frederiksen said.
She hopes to have “made an effort”
The monarch then traveled by royal train to Roskilde Cathedral, where the royal family laid a total of five crowns at the tomb of Frederik IX. posed. In the town, a good 30 miles west of Copenhagen, Margrethe greeted a few hundred onlookers who cheered loudly and occasionally waved red and white Danish flags. As before in Parliament, their 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 in private.
Margrethe receives a work of art from the government and parliament which symbolizes the connection between Denmark, the Faroe Islands and Greenland. Three artists from three parts of the kingdom are to create the work, which should be completed in early 2023, according to the Danish State Chancellery.
Margrethe herself did not give a speech on the anniversary. In an interview with the weekly “Søndag”, she spoke in advance, among other things, about the traces she would like to leave as a queen. “There’s at least one thing, and I’ve said it before: you want to be remembered for putting in the effort,” she said. “I mean, it’s very important. To have made an effort is to use what you have in you.”