The Ashtray Queen: Denmark’s Queen Margrethe II Does It Her Way

On 09/28 Queen Margrethe II of Denmark shocked the world – and some of her own family – when she announced the birth of her second son’s four children Prince Joachim, would be stripped of their royal titles of prince and princess. From January 2023, Felix, Athena, Henrik and Nikolai will be known as the Counts and Countess of Monpezat.

“With her decision, Her Majesty the Queen wants to create the framework for the four grandchildren to be able to organize their own lives to a much greater extent, without being restricted by the special considerations and duties that formal membership of the Danish royal family entails it brings with it an institution,” the palace said.

Prince Joachim publicly expressed his dismay, as did his wife, princess marie, who claimed her daughter Athena, aged 10, was bullied at her Paris school for losing her title. More importantly, Queen Margrethe II – whose family enjoys a nearly 80% Danish approval rating – is upset some of their long-loyal subjects and triggered international talks.

The scandal could not have been more unfavorably timed. This year, the 82-year-old monarch celebrated her golden anniversary. With the death of her third cousin and friend Queen Elizabeth II, Margrethe is now the longest reigning living monarch in Europe.

Unlike her tight-lipped, unknown cousin Elizabeth, Margrethe II is outwardly flamboyant and approachable. Margrethe, nicknamed “The Ashtray Queen,” is a highly educated, chain-smoking, six-foot-tall “perpetual student” known for her brightly colored clothing, love of archaeology, command of five languages, and artistic skills, which include illustration JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the rings, and designing costumes and sets for European stage productions.

Margrethe’s friendly manner has made her a popular figure in Denmark. The Queen was spotted walking out of a grocery store, munching on a hot dog and enthusiastically riding a roller coaster. But for all her outward quirks, like Queen Elizabeth, at heart she is committed to tradition and first and foremost devoted to the crown. “Margrethe approached her long reign with an extreme sense of duty,” says the author and former royal reporter Trine Villeman, an outspoken critic of royalty with controversial opinions. “She genuinely believes that her position was given to her by God, and being a deeply religious person makes her feel very committed.”

Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, Prince Christian of Denmark, Princess Isabella of Denmark, Princess Josephine of Denmark and Prince Vincent of Denmark during the confirmation of Princess Isabella of Denmark on April 30, 2022 in Fredensborg, Denmark.

Ole Jensen/Getty Images

This devotion to crown and country often seemed to drive her immediate family members to despair.

Margrethe was born in Copenhagen on April 16, 1940, just a week after the Nazi occupation of Denmark. Nicknamed “Daisy”, she was the eldest of the three girls married by King Frederick IX. And Queen Ingrid, a great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria, were born.

Denmark was liberated when she was five, and two years later her father ascended the throne. in the Queen in Denmark: Margrethe II talks about her life, Written by Anne Wolden-Ræthinge and published in 1989, Margrethe recalls her father encouraging her to accept the adoration of her constituents before performing on the balcony. “Don’t just stand there and wave, open your arms!” The Ashtray Queen: Denmark’s Queen Margrethe II Does It Her Way

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