During a horse-drawn carriage ride through Copenhagen, thousands of Danes and tourists cheered the now longest reigning monarch in the world on Saturday.
The 82-year-old then appeared in a pink suit and beamed alongside Mayor Sophie Hæstorp Andersen on the town hall balcony. While Andersen asked the crowd in front of the building to cheer, the jubilarian waved to the crowd.
Margrethe inherited the throne after the death of her father Frederik IX. inherited on January 14, 1972. In addition to the EU country Denmark, their kingdom also includes Greenland and the small Faroe Islands. The always beaming and often smoking regent is popular with the people, her New Year’s speeches have cult status like “Dinner for One” in this country. She is extremely creative and interested in art, is considered pragmatic and sometimes a bit unconventional. Since the death of Queen Elizabeth II, whose third cousin she was, Margrethe has been the longest-serving regent on earth.
The carriage with Margrethe left Amalienborg Palace for the town hall on time. At a subsequent gala dinner, Mayor Andersen recognized the art-loving queen as a great inspiration for many people. “For 50 years, you have led the way through good times and bad,” Andersen said. Margrethe is a strong role model for all Danes and the best representative a country can have. “We are immensely proud that you are our queen,” she said.
80s not celebrated
After a changeable year and the repeated postponement of the larger jubilee celebrations, the regent can finally celebrate. In Copenhagen, one recently had the feeling that something always gets in the way of such celebrations in honor of the queen: Her 80th birthday in April 2020 fell in the middle of the first peak phase of the corona pandemic, which meant that a party was hardly to be thought of.
It got even more tricky as the jubilee drew nearer. It was originally supposed to take place on the January deadline, but Corona – back then with the advent of the Omicron variant – thwarted larger celebrations.
All of this should be made up for in September – but then the Queen died a few days before. Decency forbade large scenes of celebration, Margrethe celebrated with extreme restraint: A gala event including a minute’s silence was held in the Royal Theater of Copenhagen, as well as several other official events, but the big celebration with the people had to wait – once again.
Honored by the Danish people
Until now. Countless people paid their respects on Saturday, despite the modest November weather, with quite a few proudly waving red and white Denmark flags.
That’s not the only reason why it was a closely watched day in Copenhagen. The town hall reception was also the first joint official appointment that Margrethe and her sons Crown Prince Frederik (54) and Prince Joachim (53) took part in together since a partly public conflict about the titles of Joachim’s children.
The Queen announced in September that from the new year the four children would only bear the titles of Count and Countess of Monpezat instead of their prince and princess titles. Joachim had shown his disappointment, Margrethe felt sorry for him. “I made my decision as a queen, mother and grandmother, but as a mother and grandmother I underestimated how affected my youngest son and his family felt,” she said. However, it is her duty and also her wish as Queen that the monarchy develops in line with the times. This sometimes requires difficult decisions to be made.