Her Majesty Queen Margrethe 2

Photo: Per Morten Abrahamsen

HM Queen Margrethe II - 52 years on the throne

After 52 years on the Danish throne, her majesty, Margrethe II, will step down as Denmark's regent on 14 January 2024. We celebrate the Queen's long life and career with a look at our collections.

Dronning Ingrid står med 2-årige Prinsesse Margrethe i sine arme.
Queen Ingrid with the then 2-year-old Princess Margrethe in her arms, 1942.

Photo: Atelier Kehlet Korporation

16 April 1940 - A Princess is born

On Tuesday 16 April 1940, Princess Margrethe Alexandrine Þórhildur Ingrid is born as the firstborn child of Crown Princess Ingrid and Crown Prince Frederik, the later Frederik IX, King of Denmark.

Already the day after the event, the inhabitants of Sorø County and the surrounding area could enjoy a tribute poem to the little new princess. The poem was signed CH, probably a journalist on the editorial board with a poetic vein. Maybe you know who is hiding behind the two letters?

"Little princess with eyes so blue,
we want angels by the cradle to stand
to screen your Life, you Token of Love
Greater Happiness not Humans found.

Little Princess, be welcome
in Thought you are near us all,
you must feel our Smile like a warm Wave.
to us you are the Child in Mother's Embrace.

Little Princess in Bloom,
for our Crown Prince Couple a Happiness so great,
our King, our Queen, for our whole country
you became the sun, springing from the dewdrop."

- Sorø Amts Dagblad, 17 April 1940

14 May 1940 - The Crown Prince Couple's daughter is baptised

Ærø Avis reported from the baptism in Holmen's Church, which was quite modest, as was the scope of the article. As you know, Denmark had been occupied a good month earlier. The times were not ideal for a big party, and no one knew at the time that the little princess would one day be the queen of Denmark. It was not possible to inherit the Danish throne as a woman - yet.

"The baptismal Ceremony took place in very simple Forms. The ecclesiastical Act was performed by the Provost, Dr theol. M. Neiendam. The little Princess was christened Margrethe Alexandrine Thorhildur Ingrid. The Ceremony was attended by the entire Royal Family and the Swedish Envoy."

- Ærø Avis, 14 May 1940

Dronning Margrethe II som barn smiler til fotografen.
When Princess Margrethe II is still just a young girl, the law of succession to the throne is changed. This means that it is no longer only men who can inherit the throne. Princess Margrethe II thus becomes the official heir to the throne after her father, King Frederik IX.

Photo: Anne Marie Lindequist

5 June 1953 - Princess Margrethe becomes heir to the throne by law

On 5 June, 1953, a new constitution came into effect, where the Succession Act was also amended. Now it became possible for princesses to inherit the Danish throne - at least if the regent had no sons, and Margrethe's father, Frederik IX, did not. Princess Margrethe became Crown Princess Margrethe.

"With the King's Confirmation, the new Constitution and the Amendment to the Succession Act enters into Effect immediately, after which Princess Margrethe becomes the first Heir to the Throne, as does the new Election Law with 23-year Voting Age and a Parliament of 179 members."

- Aarhus Amtstidende, 5 June 1953

1 April 1955 - The heir to the throne is confirmed

When Princess Margrethe held her confirmation on 1 April 1955 just a few weeks before her 15th birthday, Jydske Tidende based in Aabenraa wrote this beautiful description of the young princess:

"Princess Margrethe, Denmark's young Successor to the Throne, has a special Place in the Heart of her Country and her People. Although she has now reached the Age of Confirmation, fifteen Summers, it will never be forgotten that her Entry into this World for all Danes was a Touch of Sunshine in a dark and heavy Time. Eight Days after the Germans had occupied the Country, she was born, and that Day Dannebrog was once again flown at full Staff."

- Jydske Tidende, Aabenraa, 1 April 1955

Prinsesse Margrethe II smiler til en medstuderende i studenterhue
On 17 June, 1959, many newspapers wrote about the princess' exam results. She herself celebrated the day, proudly wearing her student's cap, with her classmates from Amalienborg High School. In the picture she is seen with her good friend, Birgitte Juel.

Photo: Ophav ukendt

17 June 1959 - Newly hatched student

When Princess Margrethe was able to celebrate her finished final exams in the summer of 1959, after 3 years of high school, many newspapers paid special attention to her beautiful results. When you do so well, it does not matter that the whole country pays significant attention to your last, decisive exam.

"The heir to the throne, Princess Margrethe, graduated today from Amalienborg High School as the best student in her class. The princess achieved the exam result 14.08 - which is a very fine score."

- Horsens Folkeblad, 17 June 1959

10 June 1967 - The wedding bells ring

There was public celebration when Princess Margrethe married her French Count Henri. The Southern Jutlanders also followed the wedding closely. Not least because of the ties that the royal family's annual summer stay at Gråsten created.

"This day of celebration, when the heir to the throne Princess Margrethe marries her French count, is most strongly demonstrated in the King's Copenhagen, where the celebration takes place - but it is also marked with the greatest attention in the border regions. Gråsten already showed an example of this last night when the city went wild during a local bachelor party."

- Sønderjyden, 10 June 1967

Margrethe II og Prins Henrik sidder i karet på deres bryllupsdag.
Crown Princess Margrethe II married the French prince Henrik on 10 June 1967.

Photo: Politikens Pressefoto

26 May, 1968 - Prince Frederik is born

On 26 May, 1968, a new heir to the throne was born and the Royal House had become a prince richer. One senses a certain reserve in the social democratic newspaper Ny Tid.

"The Danish "Little Prince" was born by caesarean section. Extensive ceremony was set in motion at the nighttime birth of the prince, but there was no day off for the school children.

21 cannon shots from Holmen, from the Port of Aarhus and from Kronborg welcomed Princess Margrethe and Prince Henrik's newborn son, the successor to the throne. It is the first time in this century that a direct heir to the throne was born in Denmark. So a lot is made of the event. All flag-bearing ships and ferries have hoisted the flag, and the Royal Life Guard dressed in blue gala at the change of guard at noon."

- New Time, May 27, 1968

7 June 1969 - Prince Joakim is born

The heir to the throne became the mother of Prince No. 2, and the "Little Prince", now named Frederik André Henrik Christian, had a little brother. Three days after the birth, the people of Bornholm could also enjoy the news.

"The birth took place at 04:30 in Rigshospitalet's maternity ward, and the heir to the throne gave birth to her second child by natural birth. When the first child, Prince Frederik, was born, it happened by caesarean section. Both mother and child are well after the birth, it appeared from the official announcement of the birth, which the heir to the throne's obstetricians - chief obstetrician, Professor D. Trolle and chief physician, Professor Carl Friedrichsen - has issued."

- Bornholmeren, 7 June 1969

Statsminister Jens Otto Krag udråber Margrethe II til dronning af Danmark
Prime Minister Jens Otto Krag proclaims Margrethe II Queen of Denmark, after her father, King Frederik IX, has died.

Photo: Ophav ukendt

15 January 1972 - Margrethe II is proclaimed Queen of Denmark

On 15 January 1972, Margrethe II was proclaimed Queen of Denmark, which made her Denmark's first reigning queen.

"With Queen Margrethe the Second, Denmark gets a reigning queen on the throne for the first time. The historical queen Margrete did not carry her title by virtue of her regency but because of her marriage, and moreover, she ruled most of her time in the name of others."

- Randers Dagblad, 15 January 1972

Formelt farvebillede af Dronning Margrethe, Prins Henrik og deres to sønner
Queen Margrethe II, Prince Henrik and their two sons, Crown Prince Frederik and Prince Joakim.

Photo: Elfelt Royal

Silver wedding anniversary

Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik's silver wedding anniversary was celebrated in the Knights' Hall at Kronborg with 266 guests.

"Crown Prince Frederik paid tribute to his parents in his speech during the dinner. He initially stated that having been married for 25 years "statistically almost belongs in the marginal percentage."
- But for you who have lived together all these years, it became a test of life, and of the most important of all: togetherness and love, said Frederik."

- Djursland, 10 June 1992

Queen Margrethe II's life in pictures:

Photo: Reimert Timotheus Rahe Kehlet

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Photo: Ophav ukendt

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Photo: Ophav ukendt

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Photo: Inga Aistrup

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Photo: Vagn Hansen

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Photo: Jørgen Rubæk Hansen

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Photo: C. Henriksen

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Photo: Mogens Ladegaard

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Photo: Ophav ukendt

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Photo: Allan Moe

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Photo: Ophav ukendt

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Photo: Rigmor Mydtskov

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Photo: Rigmor Mydtskov

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Photo: Rigmor Mydtskov

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Photo: Mogens Holmberg

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Photo: Sigvard Holmer

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Photo: Ophav ukendt

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Photo: Grethe Lissner

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Photo: Rigmor Mydtskov

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Photo: Ophav ukendt

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Photo: Rigmor Mydtskov

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If you want to see more pictures of Queen Margrethe throughout her life, you can visit our digital collections.

The Royal Danish Library wishes to thank Her Majesty Queen Margrethe for the 52 years she has been Denmark's sovereign.

Find more in our collections