HM The Queen

Margrethe Alexandrine Þorhildur Ingrid, Her Majesty The Queen, became Queen of Denmark in 1972. Margrethe II was born on 16 April 1940 at Amalienborg as the daughter of 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".

The 50 years anniversary of HM The Queen’s accession to the throne

The Queen's monogram. Photo: Kongehuset ©
On 16 April 1958, the Heir Apparent, Princess Margrethe, was given a seat on the State Council. Photo: Allan Moe, Ritzau Scanpix ©

Family

The Queen has two siblings: HRH Princess Benedikte (b. 1944) and HM Queen Anne-Marie (b. 1946)

Christening and confirmation
The Queen was christened on 14 May 1940 in Holmens Kirke (the Naval Church) and confirmed on 1 April 1955 in Fredensborg Palace Chapel.

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 her accession to the Throne on 14 January 1972, HM Queen Margrethe II became the first Danish Sovereign under the new Act of Succession.

The Act of Succession has since been amended in 2009, when full equality in the succession to the Throne was introduced. That means the regent’s oldest child – regardless of gender – inherits the Throne (so-called primogeniture). Similar rules are found in several other European monarchies, including Norway and Sweden.

A seat on the State Council
On 16 April 1958, The Queen (at the time the Heir Apparent) was given a seat on the State Council¨ and subsequently chaired the meetings of the State Council in the absence of the king.

Wedding
On 10 June 1967, The Queen (at the time the Heir Apparent) married Henri Marie Jean André, Count of Laborde de Monpezat, who in connection with the marriage became Prince Henrik of Denmark. The engagement was announced on 5 October 1966. The wedding ceremony took place in Holmens Kirke, and the wedding festivities were held at Fredensborg Palace. Prince Henrik passed away on 13 February 2018.

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

The Queen and Prince Henrik's wedding, 1967. Photo: Erik Gleie ©

Education

The Queen attended Zahles Skole between 1946 and 1955 and was a private pupil at Amalienborg from 1946 to 1949. In the school year 1955-1956, 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. Between 1960 and 1965, The Queen studied at universities in Denmark and other European countries.

After having passed the examination in philosophy at Copenhagen University in 1960, The Queen studied archaeology at the University of Cambridge, England in 1960-1961 and earned a Diploma in Prehistoric Archaeology. Subsequently, Her Majesty studied political science at Aarhus University in 1961-1962, at the Sorbonne, Paris in 1963 and at the London School of Economics in 1965.

Relation to the Defence
The Queen performed voluntary service with Women’s Flying Corps from 1958 to 1970 and received comprehensive training in the corps as corporal in the Women’s Air Force, sergeant in the Women’s Air Force and lieutenant in the Women’s Air Force.

In addition to her relationship with the Danish Defence, The Queen has special connections to particular units of the British Defence. In 1972, Her Majesty was appointed Colonel-in-Chief of The Queen's Regiment, and in 1992, she was appointed Colonel-in-Chief of The Princess of Wales' Royal Regiment.

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

The Queen performed voluntary service with Women’s Flying Corps from 1958 to 1970. Photo: Polfoto ©
The Queen visited The Princess of Wales' Royal Regiment in 2019. Photo: Chris Atkins Photography ©

Head of State

Politics
As Head of State, The Queen takes no part in politics and does not express any political opinions. The Queen acts loyally at all times to the government in power.

Role and duties as Head of State
Denmark has a constitutional monarchy, which means that the monarch cannot independently perform political acts. For example this means that although The Queen signs all Acts of Parliament, these only come into force when they have been countersigned by a Cabinet Minister. The Queen’s participation is thus a necessary but not sufficient precondition for the law’s validity.

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. Similarly, it is also The Queen who formally dismisses ministers.

Additionally, The Queen is the formal Head of the Government and therefore presides over the State Council, where the Acts that 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 inform her of the domestic and foreign political situation.

The Queen hosts official visits by foreign heads of state and pays state visits abroad. The Queen also receives all foreign ambassadors, who – before they can commence performing duties as an ambassador here in the country – must present their so-called credentials from the head of state of the country they represent to The Queen. 

Other fundamental duties
In her work, The Queen must represent Denmark abroad and, at the same time, be a focal point at home. The Queen fulfills the latter function by, among other ways, being present and speaking at a number of events and arrangements across the country each year. For example, that can involve openings of exhibitions, institutions, etc., anniversaries and birthdays, and celebrations of special national or local days. The annual New Year’s Address is another example of how The Queen fulfills her role as a national focal point.

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

The Queen paid an official visit to Greenland in 2021. Photo: Christian Klindt Sølbeck, Ritzau Scanpix ©
The Queen received HE Italy's President Sergio Mattarella and the President's daughter Ms Laura Mattarella in 2019. Photo: Ida Guldbaek Arentsen, Ritzau Scanpix ©

Patronages and honorary memberships

The Queen is patron of many national organisations, institutions, and foundations and is an honorary member of various associations and societies.

Speeches

Artisitc work

The Queen's artisitc work

Since 1970, 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. 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 (National Gallery of Denmark), ARoS Aarhus Art Museum, and Køge Art Gallery Sketch Collection (sketches for church textiles).