Denmark’s Queen Margrethe II, Europe’s longest-serving monarch and the only reigning queen after the death of Queen Elizabeth II, marked her jubilee with a series of low-key celebrations as a sign of respect for her third cousin.
Margrethe, 82, a hugely popular monarch known for her artistic side as well as her chain smoking, reportedly made the decision herself. It was originally to mark the 50th anniversary of his accession to the Danish throne in January, but the festivities have been significantly reduced due to the pandemic.
Full-fledged celebrations were due to take place across the country this weekend instead, but were later toned down following the death of Queen Elizabeth on Thursday.
The palace said the decision was made “at the Queen’s request”, Danish media reported.
In a letter of condolence to King Charles III, Margrethe called Queen Elizabeth “a towering figure among European monarchs and a great inspiration to us all. She will be missed terribly.
A carriage procession through the streets of Copenhagen, as well as a balcony appearance have been canceled.
“After 50 years on the throne, Queen Margrethe is now the longest living monarch in the world following the death of Queen Elizabeth,” Danish newspaper Berlingske said on Friday.
Margrethe was crowned queen at age 31 on January 14, 1972.
At the time of his accession, only 45% of Danes favored the royal family, questioning its place in a modern democracy. Today, he enjoys the support of more than 80% of the population.
Margrethe, who was widowed in 2018, is credited with modernizing the institution and encouraging the marriage of two of her sons to non-nobility. She is praised for remaining scandal-free and apolitical.
Margrethe repeatedly said she would remain on the throne until her death. In 2019, she told the Swedish daily Expressen: “I intend to stay in place as long as I live. My mission is all of life. She said the abdication would only be questioned if she fell seriously ill.
His son, Crown Prince Frederik, 54, is expected to succeed him.
Her reputation for fun was boosted in May this year, when she rode a roller coaster at Copenhagen’s Tivoli amusement park, managing to keep her hat on.
She is considered a skilled visual artist, having illustrated several books and exhibited her works in national and foreign museums. She has also worked as a costume and set designer with the Royal Danish Ballet and the Royal Danish Theatre. Margrethe, a linguist, has also participated in translation projects, including a 1981 translation of All Men Are Mortal by Simone de Beauvoir, under a pseudonym.
The decision to cancel street parties and a folk festival due to take place on Saturday was taken by the royal family. The Queen was due to appear on the balcony of Amalienborg Palace with members of her family, before taking a ceremonial carriage ride down Strøget Street in central Copenhagen to City Hall.
A gala performance at the Royal Theater took place “in adjusted form”, according to the palace.
Members of the Swedish and Norwegian royal families took part in the weekend’s events, including a Sunday church service in the Church of Our Lady in Copenhagen, followed by lunch on the royal yacht Dannebrog and dinner at the Palace of Christiansborg.
Historian Lars Hovbakke Sørensen told Berlingske that although the ties between the families “had not been so close”, the cancellation followed protocol.
“It would send the wrong signal to the world if you organized street festivals,” he said. “It is necessary to show your sympathy, especially because there are personal and family ties between the two royal families.”
The second oldest monarch is King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, who has been on the throne for 49 years.
The Sultan of Brunei has been on the throne for 54 years, but opinions are divided on whether he should be considered the world’s longest-serving monarch, due to the fact that the country only became independent from Great Britain. -Brittany only in 1984.