Monday, April 16, 2012

Royal Profile: HM Queen Margrethe II of Denmark

Queen Margrethe Alexandrine Þorhildur Ingrid of Denmark was born 16 April 1940 at the Amalienborg Palace, the oldest child and daughter of King Frederick IX and Queen Ingrid of Denmark. She was christened on 14 May 1940 in Holmens Kirke (the Naval Church) and confirmed on 1 April 1955 at Fredensborg Palace. Her godparents were King Christian X of Denmark, Prince Knud of Denmark, Prince Axel of Denmark, King Gustaf V of Sweden, Crown Prince Gustaf Adolf of Sweden, Prince Gustaf Adolf of Sweden and Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn. She was named Margrethe after her maternal grandmother, Princess Margaret of Connaught, Alexandrine after her paternal grandmother, Duchess Alexandrine of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, and Ingrid after her mother.

She was joined by younger sisters Princess Benedikte and Queen Anne-Marie of Greece in 1944 and 1946. On 20 April 1947, King Christian X died and Margrethe's father ascended the throne as King Frederick IX.

She was educated at Zahles Skole between 1949 and 1955. During 1946-1949, she was educated by tutors from Zahles Skole at Amalienbourg Palace. In the 1955-1956 school year, she was a border at North Foreland Lodge in Hampshire, England. After receiving private lessons, she graduated from Zahles Skole with an upper secondary exam certificiate (language line) in 1959. Between 1960 and 1965, HM The Queen studied at universities in Denmark and other European countries. After having passed the examination in philosophy at Copenhagen University in 1960, HM The Queen studied archaeology at the University of Cambridge in 1960-61 and earned a Diploma in Prehistoric Archaeology. Subsequently, Her Majesty studied political science at Aarhus University in 1961-1962, at the Sorbonne in 1963 and at the London School of Economics in 1965.

She speaks several languages. In addition to her native tongue of Danish, she also speaks French, Swedish, English, and German.

She performed voluntary service with Women’s Flying Corps from 1958 to 1970 and received comprehensive training in the corps during this period. The Queen is the supreme commander of the Danish Defence Forces. In addition to her relationship with the Danish Defence, she has special connections to particular units of the British Defence. In 1972, Her Majesty was appointedColonel-in-Chief of The Queen's Regiment, and in 1992, she was appointed Colonel-in-Chief of The Princess of Wales' Royal Regiment.

Due to Denmark being a constitutional monarchy, she does not have any political powers other than to sign acts of parliament, after of which the acts only come into force when they have been countersigned by a Cabinet Minister. Her main act for Denamark is to act as a figurehead, and to represent Denmark abroad.

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

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 14January 1972, HM Queen Margrethe II became the first Danish Sovereign under the new Act of Succession. On 16 April 1958, the Heir Apparent, Princess Margrethe, was given a seat on the State Council, and she subsequently chaired the meetings of the State Council in the absence of King Frederik IX.

On 10 June 1967, the Heir Apparent married Henri Marie Jean André, Count of Laborde deMonpezat, who in connection with the marriage became HRH Prince Henrik of Denmark. The wedding ceremony took place in Holmens Kirke, and the wedding festivities were held at Fredensborg Palace. From this marriage, she has two sons and eight grandchildren, who are:
1. Crown Prince Frederik André Henrik Christian(26 May 1968)
       a.    Prince Christian  Valdemar Henri John (15 October 2005)
       b.    Princess Isabella Henrietta Ingrid Margrethe (21 April 2007)
       c.    Prince Vincent Frederick Minik Alexander (8 January 2011)
       d.   Princess Josephine Sophia Ivalo Matilda (8 January 2011)
2. Prince Joachim Holger Waldemar Christian (7 June 1969)
       a.    Prince Nikolai William Alexander Frederik (28 August 1999)
       b.    Prince Felix Henrik Valdermar Christian (22 July 2002)
       c.    Prince Henrik Carl Joachim Alain (4 May 2009)
       d.  Princess Athena  Marguerite Françoise Marie (24 January 2012)

In 2012, Queen Margrethe celebrated her Ruby Jubilee.

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