Margrethe II of Denmark (Margrethe Alexandrine Þórhildur Ingrid; born 16 April 1940) is the Queen of Denmark, as well as the supreme authority of the Church of Denmark and Commander-in-Chief of the Danish Defence.
Born into the House of Glücksburg, a royal house with origins in Northern Germany, she was the eldest child of Frederick IX of Denmark and Ingrid of Sweden. She succeeded her father upon his death on 14 January 1972, having become heir presumptive to her father in 1953, when a constitutional amendment allowed women to inherit the throne. Upon her accession, Margrethe became the first female monarch of Denmark since Margaret I, ruler of the Scandinavian kingdoms from 1375–1412.
Margrethe has been on the Danish throne for 46 years, becoming the second-longest-reigning Danish monarch after her ancestor Christian IV.
|Danish Royal Family|
HM The Queen
Margrethe was born at Amalienborg in Copenhagen, Denmark on 16 April 1940. Her birth took place just one week after Nazi Germany's invasion of Denmark on 9 April. As the eldest child and daughter of the then-Crown Prince Frederick and Crown Princess Ingrid, she was born a Princess of Denmark.
Princess Margrethe was baptized on 14 May 1940 in the Church of Holmen in Copenhagen. Her names were announced as Margrethe Alexandrine Þórhildur Ingrid.
Her godparents were Christian X of Denmark, Prince Knud of Denmark, Prince Axel of Denmark, Gustaf V of Sweden, Crown Prince Gustaf Adolf of Sweden, Prince Gustaf Adolf, Duke of Västerbotten, and Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn.
Margrethe and her sisters grew up in the apartments at Frederick VIII's Palace at Amalienborg in Copenhagen and in Fredensborg Palace in North Zealand. She spent summer holidays with the royal family in her parent's summer residence at Gråsten Palace in Southern Jutland.
At the time of Margrethe's birth, only males could ascend the throne of Denmark, owing to the changes in succession laws enacted in the 1850s when the Glücksburg branch was chosen to succeed. As Margrethe had no brothers, it was assumed that her uncle Prince Knud would one day assume the throne.
On 20 April 1947, Christian X died and Margrethe's father ascended the throne as Frederick IX. Not long after, as it became clear that Queen Ingrid would have no more children, the complicated process of altering the constitution began. The popularity of Frederick and his daughters and the more prominent role of women in Danish life helped to spur the process forward.
The law required that the proposal be passed by two successive Parliaments and then by a referendum, which occurred 27 March 1953. The new Act of Succession permitted female succession to the throne of Denmark, according to male-preference cognatic primogeniture, where a female can ascend to the throne only if she does not have a brother. Princess Margrethe therefore became heir presumptive.
On her eighteenth birthday, 16 April 1958, Margrethe was given a seat in the Council of State. She subsequently chaired the meetings of the Council in the absence of the King.
In 1960, together with the princesses of Sweden and Norway, she traveled to the United States, which included a visit to Los Angeles, and to the Paramount Studios, where they were met by several celebrities, including Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis and Elvis Presley.
Margrethe was educated at the private N. Zahle's School in Copenhagen from which she graduated in 1959. She spent a year at North Foreland Lodge, a boarding school for girls in Hampshire, England, and later studied prehistoric archaeology at Girton College, Cambridge, during 1960–1961, political science at Aarhus University between 1961 and 1962, attended the University of Paris in 1963, and was at the London School of Economics in 1965. She is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London.
Queen Margrethe is fluent in Danish, French, English, Swedish and German, and has a limited knowledge of Faroese.
On 10 June 1967, Princess Margrethe married a French diplomat, Count Henri de Laborde de Monpezat, at the Church of Holmen in Copenhagen. Henri received the style and title of "His Royal Highness Prince Henrik of Denmark" because of his new position as the spouse of the heir presumptive to the Danish throne. The couple were married for over fifty years until Henrik's death on 13 February 2018.