Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik Biography
Margrethe Alexandrine Þórhildur Ingrid – or officially Queen Margrethe II, Queen of Denmark was born at Amalienborgh Palace to the then Crown Prince and Princess of Denmark on 16 April 1940.
Since King Christian X was also the King of Icelandat the time, as a tribute to the people of Iceland, the Princess was given an Icelandic name, Þórhildur.
As a young girl, Princess Margrethe attended Zahles Skole and from 1946 was home schooled at Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen. She later attended North Foreland Lodge in the United Kingdom.
University level studies were carried out in Denmark and the United Kingdom, Philosophy at the Copenhagen University and Prehistoric Archeology at Cambridge University. Further studies were carried out in 1965 at the London School of Economics.
She speaks Danish, along with extremely fluent English, French, German and Swedish.
Her Majesty the Queen is considered across Europe as the most intellectual Head of State in recent times.
As a young Princess, Magrethe along with the Princesses of Sweden and Norway visited the United States and tours were arranged for the dashing Princesses to visit Paramount Studies were they were received by several high profile celebrities including Dean Martin and Elvis Presley.
The Princess was not expected to become Queen due to the Constitution and laws of succession in Denmark barred women from inheriting the throne of Denmark – the constitution was changed when her father King Frederik IX started the process of change which brought about a new constitution, changes which were approved by popular vote in March 1953.
The new Act of Succession allowed women to succeed to the throne of Denmark though with male-preference primogeniture. At this point, Princess Margrethe became heiress presumptive to the throne of Denmark.
At age 18 she was given a seat at the Council of State and acted as a representative of State in the absence of the King. At the same time, the Princess embarked on military training, where she spent time with the Women’s Flying Corp in preparation for her role as Comander-in-Chief of the Danish Defence Forces.
In 1972, she became Queen Margrethe II – the first female Monarchy since the times of Margrethe I and the Kalmar Union of 1400’s.
As Head of State of Denmark, the Queen enjoys high popularity and travels across Denmark promoting equality, community spirit and ensuring the well being of the Danish people – abroad the Queen is an excellent ambassador for Denmark and is received with much respect across the world.
In addition to her duties as Head of State, the Queen also plays a role in the British Military, as is tradition – the Danish Monarch was appointed Colonel-in-Chief of the Queen’s Regiment and in 1992 as Colonel-in-Chief of the Princess of Wales’ Royal Regiment.
The Queen is a keen painted, and has had her works of art displayed at many locations in Denmark and Europe on several occasions. A key moment in her time as a painter was when her illustrations were used for the Danish edition of the Lord of the Rings which were published twice in Denmark, Her Majesty also helped with the translation of the books from English into Danish.
Her Majesty the Queen is also a keen designer, and is often said to design her own outfits for State events, some which gain high ratings and approval, while others not so much.
For years the Sovereign has been a smoker, and is in fact quite famous for her tabacco habit, but has refrained from doing so in public for the past few years now.
Recently, the Queen encountered some very harsh critism especially from the Islamic world after commenting on the idea of Islam being seen as a challenge.
“We are being challenged by Islam these years. Globally as well as locally. There is something impressive about people for whom religion imbues their existence, from dusk to dawn, from cradle to grave. There are also Christians who feel this way. There is something endearing about people who give themselves up completely to their faith. But there is likewise something frightening about such a totality, which also is a feature of Islam. A counterbalance has to be found, and one has to, at times, run the risk of having unflattering labels placed on you. For there are some things for which one should display no tolerance. And when we are tolerant, we must know whether it is because of convenience or conviction.”
In 1967, she married French Diplomat, Count Henri de Laborde de Monpezat at the Naval Church of Copenhagen, he was granted the style and title of Prince of Denmark and has accompanied Her Majesty the Queen in her role as head of state.
Prince Henrik and Queen Margrethe have two children, Crown Prince Frederik born in May 1968 and Prince Joachim born in June 1969.
Prince Henrik as Consort to the Sovereign has no official role in Denmark – but takes an active role in royal duties alongside the Queen, accompanying the Queen on State Visits and engagements within Denmark.
He was born in Gironde, France in June 1934 and spent many years in Vietman where his family set up residence as his father was changed with dealing with business interests in the region. The Prince studies secondary school in France and then went to study simultaneously Law and Political Science in Paris. Further studies were done in Hong Kong and Saigon.
The Prince took part in the French-Algerian War of 1959. He entered a career in diplomacy when he joined the French Foreign Affairs office, his first post was at the French Embassy in London.