"Moral compass" of the Danes: Margrethe II celebrates 50th anniversary of the throne

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“Moral Compass” of the Danes
Margrethe II celebrates the 50th anniversary of the throne

Sometimes it might be a little 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 with a ceremony in Copenhagen.

Queen Margrethe II has been the Danish head of state for half a century. On the 50th anniversary of the throne, the popular monarch was officially honored at a smaller ceremony of the parliament at Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen – larger festivities had been postponed to mid-September due to the corona pandemic. Dressed in a powder blue outfit with a matching hat, Margrethe watched the whole thing with interest and – as so often – a smile on her face.

Some fans also stopped by in Copenhagen in honor of the Queen.

(Photo: picture alliance / Ritzau Scanpix)

Margrethe is after the death of her father Frederik IX. became Head of State on January 14, 1972. At that time, tens of thousands of people cheered on the streets of Copenhagen – 50 years later, such scenes were not possible due to the corona. Nevertheless, some Danes gathered in front of Christiansborg Palace to wave to her. Not far from there, a few dozen demonstrators protested loudly against the applicable corona restrictions.

In addition to the EU country Denmark, Margrethes Kingdom also includes Greenland and the small Faroe Islands. In Europe, only the British Queen Elizabeth II sits longer on the throne – the 95-year-old is even celebrating her 70th anniversary this year.

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Enthusiasm for art and culture

Like the Queen, Margrethe regards her role as a life’s work. She herself is considered pragmatic and sometimes a little unconventional, her New Year’s Eve speeches are an integral part of their New Year celebrations for the Danes. Margaret’s enthusiasm for art and culture is well known, even on her last state visit to Germany in November 2021, she visited various cultural institutions in Berlin and Munich.

For the Danish population, Margrethe is one thing above all else: a constant. During all the changes of the past 50 years, the Danish parliament chairman Henrik Dam Kristensen paid tribute to the Queen at the ceremony at Christiansborg Palace. With her statements and her approach, Margrethe is “a moral compass” that deserves respect as a head of state, artist and mother, and to which one can look up.

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen also underlined Margrethe’s importance for Denmark. Especially in Corona times, the monarch’s commitment was of inestimable value, she said. Even after 50 years, she still fulfills her duties with an infectious joy. “Your great commitment is reflected either in a big smile or deep forehead lines, without any filters,” said Frederiksen.

She hopes “to have tried”

The monarch then traveled by royal train to the cathedral in Roskilde, where the royal family placed a total of five wreaths on the grave of Frederik IX. resigned. In the city a good 30 kilometers west of Copenhagen, Margrethe greeted a few hundred onlookers who cheered loudly and sometimes waved red and white Denmark flags. As before in Parliament, her sons, Crown Prince Frederik and Prince Joachim, their wives, Crown Princess Mary and Princess Marie, as well as one of their younger sisters, Princess Benedektiven, 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 that symbolizes the connection between Denmark, the Faroe Islands and Greenland. Three artists from the three parts of the kingdom are to create the work, which should be completed in early 2023, as the Danish State Chancellery announced.

Margrethe herself did not give a speech on the anniversary day. In an interview with the weekly newspaper “Søndag”, however, she had previously discussed, among other things, which traces she would like to leave behind as queen. “There’s at least one thing, and I’ve said that before: You want to be remembered for trying,” she said. “I mean, that’s very important. To have tried is to use what you have in you.”

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