Scenography and costume design

Read more about HM The Queen’s scenography and costume design.

Since childhood, The Queen has been strongly interested in the worlds of theatre and especially ballet, inspired particularly by Frederik IX's enjoyment in this regard. Early on, Princess Margrethe went with her parents to the Royal Theatre, where in 1948 she attended August Bournonville’s ballet Napoli, which made a deep impression on the Princess.

As an adult, The Queen herself became involved in ballet as a scenographer and costume designer. From the mid-1980s and 30 years onwards, The Queen helped with the annual ballet performances at a friend’s dance school in Næstved, where the wing scenery and costumes were conjured up with enormous imagination from materials at hand. Quite special were the performances’ numerous paper hats, which The Queen thought up and created herself.

The Queen’s wealth of ideas on the amateur stage in Næstved led to a more professional effort, when the TV theatre at Danmarks Radio approached The Queen in 1987 and persuaded her to assist as a scenographer and costume designer for a TV production of H.C. Andersen’s fairy tale The Shepherdess and the Chimney Sweep. Following in 1990 was the Royal Theatre’s ambitious new production of August Bournonville’s ballet A Folk Tale, for which The Queen designed the scenography and the many costumes.

Ten years later, The Queen joined with Tivoli’s Pantomime Theatre to help revitalize the theatre’s small ballets, which are performed free for the amusement park’s visitors. The first performance with The Queen as scenographer and costume designer was the H.C. Andersen-inspired ballet Love in the Dustbin in 2001, and since then there have been ballets based on several of the author’s fairy tales, including ThumbelinaThe TinderboxThe Steadfast Tin Soldier, The Swineherd and The Snow Queen, but also The Nutcracker and Cinderella.

In 2023, Queen Margrethe had considerable involvement when the Netflix film “Ehrengard – Forførelsens Kunst” (“Ehrengard – The Art of Seduction”) was produced with Bille August as director. Her Majesty created approximately 70 découpage artworks for the film’s scenography and, in addition, designed the costumes. On 3 February 2024, Queen Margrethe was presented a Robert Award as the Costume Designer of the Year for Her Majesty’s artistic work in the film.

Selection of scenography and costume design

See examples of The Queen’s scenography and costumes in the gallery below.

Overview of ballet performances

The Queen’s ballet performances

  • Hyrdinden og Skorstensfejeren, TV-Teatret, 1987
  • Et Folkesagn, Det Kongelige Teater, 1991
  • Kjærlighed i Skarnkassen, Pantomimeteateret, Tivoli, 2001
  • Skibsdrengens fortællinger, Svalegangens Dukketeater, 2004
  • Tommelise, Pantomimeteateret, Tivoli, 2005 and 2011
  • Fyrtøjet, Pantomimeteateret, Tivoli, 2007, 2013 and 2018
  • Svinedrengen, Pantomimeteateret, Tivoli, 2009
  • Nøddeknækkeren, Tivolis Koncertsal, 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018
  • Den standhaftige tinsoldat, Pantomimeteateret, Tivoli, 2013
  • Askepot, Tivolis Koncertsal, 2016
  • Snedronningen, Tivolis Koncertsal, 2019 and 2021