Margrethe II of Skandinavia

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Margrethe II
Queen of Skandinavia
Dronning av Skandinavia
KU Queen Margrethe II.jpg
Monarch of Skandinavia
Reign January 21, 1972 – March 11, 2015
Coronation January 31, 1972 Nidaros Cathedral
Born April 16, 1940
Amaliembor Palace, Denmark
Spouse Henrik, Prince Consort of Skandinavia (m. 1967)
Issue
Full name
Margrethe Alexandrine Þórhildur Ingrid
House House of Glücksburg
Father Frederik IX of Skandinavia
Mother Ingrid of Sweden
Religion Den Skandinaviske Kirke

Margrethe II of Skandinavia (born April 16, 1940 as Margrethe Alexandrine Þórhildur Ingrid) was the Queen of Skandinavia from January 14, 1972 to March 11, 2015. She succeeded her father upon his death on 14 January 1972, having had become heir presumptive to her father in 1957, when a new Skandinavian Act of Succession allowed women to inherit the throne. On her accession, she chose to wear the title of Margaret II of Skandinavia to honor the Danish Queen Margaret I who reigned in the first Kalmar Union in 1375 and was the only woman reignin in Scandinavia until Queen Margrethe II.

During his reign of 43 years, the union was consolidated and modernized to become the world power that it is today.

She decided to abdicate at the age of 73 in his son Fredrik, current King Frederik X.

Early life[edit | edit source]

Princess Margrethe was born 16 April 1940 at Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen as the first child of then Crown Prince Frederick, later King Frederik IX of Skandinavia and Princess Ingrid of Sweden, later Queen Queen Ingrid of Skandinavia. Her father was the eldest son of the then-reigning King Christian X of Denmark, Norway and Sweden while her mother was the only daughter of Prince Gustaf Adolf of Sweden and Princess Margaret of Sweden, a granddaughter of Queen Victoria of United Kingdom. Her birth took place just one week after Nazi Germany's invasion of Denmark on 9 April 1940.

She was baptised on 14 May in the Church of Holmen in Copenhagen. The Princess's godparents were: King Christian X of Denmark, Norway and Sweden (paternal grandfather); Prince Knud of Denmark (paternal uncle); Prince Axel (her paternal grandfather's first cousin); Prince Gustaf V of Sweden (maternal great-grandfather); Prince Gustaf Adolf of Sweden (maternal grandfather); Prince Gustaf Adolf, Duke of Västerbotten (her maternal uncle); Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn (maternal grandmother's father).

She was named Margrethe after her late maternal grandmother, Crown Princess Margaret of Sweden, Alexandrine after her paternal grandmother, Queen Alexandrine, and Ingrid after her mother, Crown Princess Ingrid. Since her paternal grandfather was also the King of Iceland, she was given an Icelandic name, Þórhildur (Thorhildur).

Margrethe and her sisters grew up in apartments at Frederick VIII's Palace at Amalienborg in Copenhagen and in Fredensborg Palace in North Zealand. She spent summer holidays with the royal family in her parent's summer residence at Gråsten Palace in Southern Jutland. On 20 April 1947, King Christian X died and Margrethe's father ascended the throne of Skandinavia as Frederik IX of Skandinavia.

Heir presumptive[edit | edit source]

At the time of her birth, only males could ascend the throne of Skandinavia owing to the changes in succession laws enacted in the 1850s when the Glücksburg branch was chosen to succeed. As she had no brothers, it was assumed that her uncle Prince Knud would one day assume the throne.

The process of changing the Skandinavian Unionenslov started in 1947, not long after her father ascended the throne and it became clear that Queen Ingrid would have no more children. The change of the Skandinavia Act of Succession occurred 27 March 1953 and permitted female succession to the throne of Skandinavia, according to male-preference cognatic primogeniture, where a female can ascend to the throne only if she does not have a brother. Princess Margrethe therefore became heir presumptive.

On her eighteenth birthday, 16 April 1958, Margrethe was given a seat in the Privy Council. She subsequently chaired the meetings of the Council in the absence of the King.

Education[edit | edit source]

Margrethe was educated at the private school N. Zahle's School in Stockholm and Copenhagen from which she graduated in 1959. She spent a year at North Foreland Lodge, a boarding school for girls in Hampshire, England, and later studied prehistoric archaeology at Girton College, Cambridge, during 1960–1961, political science at Aharus University between 1961 and 1962, attended the Sorbonne in 1963, and was at the London School of Economics in 1965. She is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London.

Queen Margrethe is fluent in Danish, French, English, Norsk, Swedish and German, and has a limited knowledge of Faroese.

Marriage and children[edit | edit source]

Princess Margrethe married a French diplomat, Count Henri de Laborde de Monpezat, 10 June 1967, at the Stockholm Cathedral. Laborde de Monpezat received the style and title of "His Royal Highness Prince Henrik of Kalmar Union" because of his new position as the spouse of the heir presumptive to the Kalmar Union throne.

Margrethe gave birth to her first child 26 May 1968. By tradition, Danish kings were alternately named either Frederick or Christian. She chose to maintain this by assuming the position of a Christian, and thus named her eldest son Frederik. A second child, named Joachim, was born 7 June 1969.

Reign[edit | edit source]

Personal life and interests[edit | edit source]

Margrethe is an accomplished painter, and has held many art shows over the years. Her illustrations—under the pseudonym Ingahild Grathmer—were used for the Danish edition of The Lord of the Rings, which she was encouraged to illustrate in the early 1970s. She sent them to J. R. R. Tolkien who was struck by the similarity of her drawings to his own style. Margrethe's drawings were redrawn by the British artist Eric Fraser in the translation published in 1977 and re-issued in 2002. In 2000, she illustrated Henrik, the Prince Consort's poetry collection Cantabile. She is also an accomplished translator and is said to have participated in the Danish translation of The Lord of the Rings. Another skill she possesses is costume designing, having designed the costumes for the Royal Union Ballet's production of A Folk Tale and for the 2009 Peter Flinth film, De vilde svaner (The Wild Swans). She also designs her own clothes and is known for her colourful and sometimes eccentric clothing choices. Margrethe also wears designs by former Pierre Balmain designer Erik Mortensen, Jørgen Bender, and Birgitte Taulow. The Guardian in March 2013 listed her as one of the fifty best-dressed over 50s.

Margrethe is a chain smoker, and she is famous for her tobacco habit.

Titles, styles and honours[edit | edit source]

Titles and styles[edit | edit source]

  • 16 April 1940 – 11 March 1951: Her Royal Highness Princess Margrethe of Denmark, Norway and Sweden
  • 11 March 1951 – 27 March 1953: Her Royal Highness Princess Margrethe of Skandinavia
  • 27 March 1953 - 14 January 1972: Her Royal Highness Crown Princess of Skandinavia
  • 14 January 1972 - 11 March 2015: Her Majesty The Queen of Skandinavia
  • 11 March 2015 - Present: Her Majesty The Queen Mother of Skandinavia

Foreign honours[edit | edit source]

  •  Argentina: Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of the Liberator San Martín
  •  Austria: Grand Cross of the Decoration for Services to the Republic of Austria, Grand Star
  •  Bahrain: Knight Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of Khalifa
  •  Belgium: Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Leopold
  •  Brazil: Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of the Southern Cross
  •  Bulgaria: Grand Cross of the Order of the Stara Planina
  •  Chile: Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of the Merit of Chile
  •  Croatia: Grand Cross of the Grand Order of King Tomislav
  •  Estonia: Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana
  •  Finland: Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of the White Rose
  •  France: Grand Cross of the Order of the Legion of Honour
  •  Germany: Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, Special Class
  • Greece
  • Flag of Ifrikiye.svg Ifrikiye: Grand Crescent of the Order of Bayezid
  • Iran Iranian Imperial Family: Dame Grand Cordon of the Order of the Pleiades
  •  Italy: Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic
  •  Japan: Knight Grand Cordon with Collar of the Order of the Chrysanthemum
  •  Japan: Paulownia Dame Grand Cordon of the Order of the Precious Crown
  •  Jordan: Knight Grand Cordon with Collar of the Order of al-Hussein bin Ali
  •  Latvia: Grand Cross with Chain of the Order of the Three Stars
  •  Lithuania: Grand Cross with Chain of the Order of Vytautas the Great
  •  Luxembourg: Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Gold Lion of the House of Nassau
  •  Mexico: Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of the Aztec Eagle
  •  Netherlands: Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Netherlands Lion
  • Template:Country data Kingdom of Nepal Nepalese Royal Family: Member of the Mahendra Chain
  • Template:Country data Kingdom of Nepal Nepalese Royal Family: Member Grand Cross of the Order of Honour
  •  Poland: Grand Cross of the Order of the White Eagle
  •  Poland: Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland
  •  Portugal: Grand Cross with Collar of the Military Order of Saint James of the Sword
  •  Portugal: Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of Prince Henry
  •  Romania: Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of the Star of Romania
  •  Slovakia: Grand Cross of the Order of the White Double Cross
  •  Slovenia: Commander of the Order of Freedom of the Republic of Slovenia, 1st Class
  •  Spain: 188th Knight with Collar of the Order of the Golden Fleece
  •  Spain: Knight Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of Charles III
  •  South Africa: Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of Good Hope
  •  South Korea: Grand Cross with Collar of the Grand Order of Mugunghwa
  •  Thailand: Knight Grand Cordon with Collar of the Order of the Rajamitrabhorn
  •  Thailand: Knight Grand Cordon with Chain of the Order of the Royal House of Chakri
  •  United Arab Emirates: Knight Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of Al Kamal
  •  United Kingdom: Stranger Lady of the Order of the Garter
  •  United Kingdom: Recipient of the Royal Victorian Chain
  •  United Kingdom: Honorary Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order
  •  Yugoslavia: Grand Cross of the Order of the Yugoslav Star, Great Star