Margrethe II of Denmark
Queen Margrethe II in May 2012
|Queen of Denmark (more...)|
|Reign||14 January 1972 – present|
|Heir apparent||Crown Prince Frederik|
16 April 1940|
Amalienborg Palace, Copenhagen, Denmark
|Spouse||Henri de Laborde de Monpezat (m. 1967)|
Crown Prince Frederik|
|Father||Frederik IX of Denmark|
|Mother||Ingrid of Sweden|
|Religion||Church of Denmark|
|Danish Royal Family|
HH Princess Elisabeth
|Extended royal family|
Margrethe II (Danish: Margrethe 2.; Faroese: Margreta 2.; Greenlandic: Margrethe II) (Danish pronunciation: [mɑˈɡ̊ʁæːˀd̥ə], full name: Margrethe Alexandrine Þórhildur Ingrid; born 16 April 1940) is the Queen of Denmark. She is also the supreme authority of the Church of Denmark and Commander-in-Chief of the Danish Defence Forces.
Born into the House of Glücksburg, a royal house with origins in Northern Germany, she was the eldest child of Frederick IX of Denmark and Ingrid of Sweden. She succeeded her father upon his death on 14 January 1972, having had become heir presumptive to her father in 1953, when a constitutional amendment allowed women to inherit the throne. On her accession, Margrethe became the first female monarch of Denmark since Margaret I, ruler of the Scandinavian countries in 1375–1412 during the Kalmar Union.
Having been on the Danish throne for 44 years, she is currently the second longest-reigning Danish monarch after her ancestor Christian IV. She is also the longest-reigning of the three current Scandinavian monarchs, as Sweden's Carl XVI Gustaf has reigned since 1973 and Norway's Harald V has reigned since 1991.
Princess Margrethe was born 16 April 1940 at Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen as the first child of Crown Prince Frederick, later King Frederick IX and Crown Princess Ingrid, later Queen Ingrid. Her father was the eldest son of the then-reigning King Christian X, while her mother was the only daughter of Crown Prince Gustaf Adolf, later King Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden, and Crown Princess Margaret, a granddaughter of Queen Victoria. 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 (paternal grandfather); Hereditary Prince Knud (paternal uncle); Prince Axel (her paternal grandfather's first cousin); King Gustaf V of Sweden (maternal great-grandfather); Crown 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).
When Margrethe was four years old, in 1944, her first sister, Princess Benedikte, was born. Princess Benedikte later married Prince Richard of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg and lives some of the time in Germany. Her second sister Princess Anne Marie was born in 1946. Anne-Marie later married Constantine II of Greece and now lives in Greece.
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 as King Frederick IX.
At the time of her birth, only males could ascend the throne of Denmark, 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 constitution started in 1947, not long after her father ascended the throne and it became clear that Queen Ingrid would have no more children. The popularity of Frederick and his daughters and the more prominent role of women in Danish life started the complicated process of altering the constitution. The law required that the proposal be passed by two successive Parliaments and then by a referendum, which occurred 27 March 1953. The new Act of Succession permitted female succession to the throne of Denmark, 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 Council of State. She subsequently chaired the meetings of the Council in the absence of the King.
In 1960, together with the princesses of Sweden and Norway, she travelled to the United States, which included a visit to Los Angeles, and to the Paramount Studios, where they were met by several celebrities, including Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis and Elvis Presley.
Margrethe was educated at the private school N. Zahle's School in 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 Aarhus 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.
Princess Margrethe married a French diplomat, Count Henri de Laborde de Monpezat, 10 June 1967, at the Church of Holmen in Copenhagen. Laborde de Monpezat received the style and title of "His Royal Highness Prince Henrik of Denmark" because of his new position as the spouse of the heir presumptive to the Danish 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.
Shortly after King Frederick IX had delivered his New Year's Address to the Nation at the 1971/72 turn of the year, he fell ill. At his death 14 days later, 14 January 1972, Margrethe succeeded to the throne, becoming the first female Danish sovereign under the new Act of Succession. She was proclaimed Queen from the balcony of Christiansborg Palace 15 January 1972, by Prime Minister Jens Otto Krag. Queen Margrethe II relinquished all the monarch's former titles except the title to Denmark, hence her style "By the Grace of God, Queen of Denmark" (Danish: Margrethe den Anden, af Guds Nåde Danmarks Dronning). The Queen chose the motto: God's help, the love of The People, Denmark's strength.
In her first address to the people, Queen Margrethe II said:
My beloved father, our King, is dead. The task that my father had carried for nearly 25 years is now resting on my shoulders. I pray to God to give me help and strength to carry the heavy heritage. May the trust that was given to my father also be granted to me.
The Queen's main tasks are to represent the Kingdom abroad and to be a unifying figure at home. She receives foreign ambassadors and awards honours and medals. The Queen performs the latter task by accepting invitations to open exhibitions, attending anniversaries, inaugurating bridges, etc.
As an unelected public official, the Queen takes no part in party politics and does not express any political opinions. Although she has the right to vote, she opts not to do so to avoid even the appearance of partisanship.
After an election where the incumbent Prime Minister does not have a majority behind him or her, the Queen holds a “Dronningerunde” (Queen's meeting) in which she meets the chairmen of each of the Danish political parties.
Each party has the choice of selecting a Royal Investigator to lead these negotiations or alternatively, give the incumbent Prime Minister the mandate to continue his government as is. In theory each party could choose its own leader as Royal Investigator, the social liberal Det Radikale Venstre did so in 2006, but often only one Royal Investigator is chosen plus the Prime Minister, before each election. The leader who, at that meeting succeeds in securing a majority of the seats in the Folketing, is by royal decree charged with the task of forming a new government. (It has never happened in more modern history that any party has held a majority on its own.)
Once the government has been formed, it is formally appointed by the Queen. Officially, it is the Queen who is the head of government, and she therefore presides over the Council of State (privy council), where the acts of legislation which have been passed by the parliament are signed into law. In practice, however, nearly all of the Queen's formal powers are exercised by the Cabinet of Denmark.
In addition to her roles in her own country, the Queen is also the Colonel-in-Chief of the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment (Queen's and Royal Hampshires), an infantry regiment of the British Army, following a tradition in her family.
Queen Margrethe II celebrated her Ruby Jubilee, the 40th year on the throne, 14 January 2012. This was marked by a carriage procession, a gala banquet at Christiansborg Palace and numerous TV interviews.
In 2016 an interview within the book De dybeste rødder (en: The Deepest Roots) she showed, according to historians at Saxo instittutet, a change in attitude to immigration towards a more restrictive stance. She stated that the Danish people should have more explicitly clarified the rules and values of Danish culture in order to be able to teach them to new arrivals. Further stated that the Danes in general have underestimated the difficulties involved in successful integration of immigrants, exemplified with the rules of a democracy not being clarified to Muslim immigrants and a lack of readiness to enforce those rules. This was received as a change in line with the attitude of the Danish people.
Personal life and interests
The official residences of the Queen and the Prince Consort are Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen and Fredensborg Palace. Their summer residence is Gråsten Palace near Sønderborg, the former home of the Queen's mother, Queen Ingrid, who died in 2000.
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 Danish 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. However, on 23 November 2006, the Danish newspaper B.T. reported an announcement from the Royal Court stating that in future the Queen would smoke only in private.
A statement in a 2005 authorized biography about the Queen (entitled Margrethe) focused on her views of Islam: "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."
Queen Margrethe II visited the Memorial Hall of the Victims in Nanjing Massacre by Japanese Invaders, in Nanjing, April 27, 2014. The Queen said the Memorial Hall records the darkest part of history in 77 years. "We cannot change the cruel history, but can learn a historic lesson and experience from it. Today, we commemorate Sindberg. We need not only to review the past, but also need to face up to the future," she said. Margrethe II and Prince Henrik watered a tree symbolizing peace, on the square outside the Memorial Hall. They also laid down a yellow rose, named by Sindberg’s hometown as "Forever Nanjing, Sindberg Yellow Rose" in 2004.
The Queen and Prince Consort have two sons and eight grandchildren:
- His Royal Highness Crown Prince Frederik André Henrik Christian of Denmark (born 26 May 1968). He was married to Mary Donaldson on 14 May 2004 at Copenhagen Cathedral, Copenhagen. The couple have four children:
- His Royal Highness Prince Christian Valdemar Henri John of Denmark (born 15 October 2005)
- Her Royal Highness Princess Isabella Henrietta Ingrid Margrethe of Denmark (born 21 April 2007)
- His Royal Highness Prince Vincent Frederik Minik Alexander of Denmark (born 8 January 2011)
- Her Royal Highness Princess Josephine Sophia Ivalo Mathilda of Denmark (born 8 January 2011)
- His Royal Highness Prince Joachim Holger Waldemar Christian of Denmark (born 7 June 1969). He was married to Alexandra Manley on 18 November 1995 at Frederiksborg Palace Church, Hillerød. They divorced on 8 April 2005. He was married secondly to Marie Cavallier on 24 May 2008 at Møgeltønder Church, Møgeltønder. Joachim has four children; three sons and one daughter:
- His Highness Prince Nikolai William Alexander Frederik of Denmark (born 28 August 1999)
- His Highness Prince Felix Henrik Valdemar Christian of Denmark (born 22 July 2002)
- His Highness Prince Henrik Carl Joachim Alain of Denmark (born 4 May 2009)
- Her Highness Princess Athena Marguerite Françoise Marie of Denmark (born 24 January 2012)
Titles, styles, honours and arms
- 16 April 1940 – 5 June 1953: Her Royal Highness Princess Margrethe of Denmark
- 5 June 1953 – 14 January 1972: Her Royal Highness Princess Margrethe, Heiress Presumptive of Denmark
- 14 January 1972 – Present: Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II, The Queen of Denmark
She is the 1,188th knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece in Spain, and only the 7th Lady of the Order of the Garter since 1901, when King Edward VII appointed his consort a member. She is also Colonel-in-Chief of the The Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment (Queen's and Royal Hampshires) in the United Kingdom.
- Denmark: Sovereign Knight Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of the Elephant(R.E.)
- Denmark: Sovereign Knight Grand Commander with Collar of the Order of the Dannebrog(S.Kmd)
- Denmark: Sovereign Dame of the Royal Family Order of King Christian X
- Denmark: Sovereign Dame of the Royal Family Order of King Frederik IX
- Denmark: Sovereign Recipient of the Cross of Honour of the Order of the Dannebrog(D.Ht.)
- Greenland: Sovereign Recipient of the Nersornaat Medal for Meritorious Service, 1st Class
- Denmark: Sovereign Recipient of the Air Force Long Service Medal
- Denmark: Sovereign Recipient of the Homeguard Medal of Merit
- Denmark: Sovereign Recipient of the 25 years of Homeguard Service Medal
- Denmark: Sovereign Recipient of the Medal of Honour of the League of Civil Defence
- Denmark: Sovereign Recipient of the Medal of Honour of the Reserve Officers League
- Denmark: Sovereign Recipient of the Red Cross Medal of Honour
- Denmark: Sovereign Recipient of the Red Cross Medal for Merit
- Denmark: Sovereign Recipient of the 100th Anniversary Medal of the Birth of King Christian X
- Denmark: Sovereign Recipient of the 50th Anniversary Medal of the arrival of Queen Ingrid to Denmark
- Denmark: Sovereign Recipient of the 100th Anniversary Medal of the Birth of King Frederik IX
- Denmark: Sovereign Recipient of the Queen Ingrid Commemorative Medal
- Denmark: Sovereign Recipient of the 350th Anniversary Medal of the Royal Danish Life Guards
- Denmark: Sovereign Recipient of the 400th Anniversary Medal of the Guard Hussar Regiment
- 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
- Egypt: Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of the Nile
- 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
- Iceland: Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of the Falcon
- Iranian Imperial Family: Dame Grand Cordon of the Order of the Pleiades, 1st Class
- 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
- Morocco: Knight Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of Ouissam Alaouite
- Netherlands: Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Netherlands Lion
- Nepalese Royal Family: Member of the Mahendra Chain
- Nepalese Royal Family: Member Grand Cross of the Order of Honour
- Norway: Knight Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of St. Olav
- Norway: Recipient of the Silver Jubilee Medal of King Olav V
- Norway: Recipient of the Silver Jubilee Medal of King Harald V
- 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
- Saudi Arabia: Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of Abdulaziz al Saud
- 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: 1, 188th Knight with Collar of the Order of the Golden Fleece
- Spain: Knight Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of Charles III
- Sweden: Member Grand Cross with Collar of the Royal Order of the Seraphim
- Sweden: Recipient of the 85th Birthday Badge Medal of King Gustaf VI Adolf
- Sweden: Recipient of the 50th Birthday Badge Medal of King Carl XVI Gustaf
- Sweden: Recipient of the Ruby Jubilee Badge Medal of King Carl XVI Gustaf
- Sweden: Recipient of the 70th Birthday Badge Medal of King Carl XVI Gustaf
- 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 (7th Lady since 1901; 1979)
- United Kingdom: Recipient of the Royal Victorian Chain (1974)
- United Kingdom: Honorary Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (?)
- Yugoslavia: Grand Cross of the Order of the Yugoslav Star, Great Star
Symbols of Margrethe II
- Royal Coat of Arms
- Royal Standard
- Royal Monogram of Margrethe II
- Personal Monogram of Margrethe II
- Dual Monogram of Margrethe II and husband Henrik, Prince Consort of Denmark
Margrethe's patriline is the line from which she is descended father to son. Patrilineal descent is the principle behind membership in royal houses, as it can be traced back through the generations—which means that if Margrethe II were to choose an historically accurate house name it would be Oldenburg.
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- "Princess Margrethe, who is fifteen and is heir presumptive to the Danish throne, is to study for a year in England at North Foreland Lodge, a girls' boarding school near Basingstoke, in Hampshire...". The Illustrated London News. 227 (2). 1955. p. 552.
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- "Dronning Margrethe om integration: »Det er ikke en naturlov, at man bliver dansker af at bo i Danmark«". Berlingske Tidende. 22 October 2016. Retrieved 25 October 2016.
- "De vilde svaner (2009)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2014-12-11.
- "Flashback Friday: Queen Margrethe's Styl". The Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor. 13 January 2012. Retrieved 3 February 2012.
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- The London Gazette: . 21 April 1997.
- "Catalogue of place names in northern East Greenland" (PDF). Geological Survey of Denmark. Retrieved 1 July 2016.
- kongehuset.dk, page with Margrethes national honours
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- zimbio.com, Margrethe wearing national orders
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- Dailymail.co.uk, Margrethe wearing the grand stars of the order of the elephant and Dannebrog with elephant sash
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- "Bundeskanzler Anfragebeantwortung An die Präsidentin des Nationalrats" [Reply to a parliamentary question about the Decoration of Honour] (PDF) (in German). p. 168. Retrieved November 2012. Check date values in:
- King Hamad hands the insignia to Queen Margrethe in exchnage of the Order of the Dannebrog
- KELD NAVNTOFT. "Georgi Parvanov". Getty Images. Retrieved 7 April 2016.
- Margrethe wearing the Greek order of the former Royal family at the republican state visit of Greece to Denmark
- "Fálkaorðuhafar" [Holders of the Commander's Cross]. The President of Iceland. Retrieved 2014-12-11.
- "Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik's State Visit to Japan: November 15-22, 2004 - The Royal Forums". Retrieved 7 April 2016.
- Julian Parker. "Empress Michiko". Getty Images. Retrieved 7 April 2016.
- "Apdovanojimai" [Awards Database]. President of the Republic of Lithuania. Retrieved 2014-12-11.
- "ACUERDO por el que se otorga a Su Majestad Margrethe II Reina de Dinamarca, la Condecoración de la Orden Mexicana del Aguila Azteca en el grado de Collar" [AGREEMENT that the Collar of the Order of the Aztec Eagle is awarded to Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II of Denmark]. Secretariat of the Interior. 13 February 2008. Retrieved 2014-12-11.
- "Staatsbezoek Denemarken 2015 twee koninginnen. - Koninklijke Familie/Royal Family/ Famille Royal - Pinterest - Denmark, Dutch and US states". Pinterest. Retrieved 7 April 2016.
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- "Photo of the Danish Royal couple with the Slovakian Presidential couple". Kongehuset.dk.
- "REAL DECRETO 1948/1985. de 23 de octubre. por el Que se concede el Collar de la Insigne Orden del Toisón de Oro a Su Majestad Margarita ll, Reina de Dinamarca" [Her Majesty Margrethe II, Queen of Denmark is awarded the Collar of the Illustrious Order of the Golden Fleece] (PDF). Boletín Oficial del Estado. 24 October 1985. Retrieved 2014-12-11.
- "REAL DECRETO 738/1980, de 15 de marzo, por el que se concede el Collar de la Real y Muy Distinguida Orden de Carlos Ill a Su Majestad Margarita ll, Reina de Dinamarca" [Royal Decree 738/1980 of 15 March, granting the Collar of the Royal and Most Distinguished Order of Carlos III Margarita ll to Her Majesty, Queen of Denmark] (PDF). Boletín Oficial del Estado. 24 April 1980. Retrieved 2014-12-11.
- "The Floral Tiara". At The Spanish Court. 5 May 2013.
- Archived 17 April 2015 at the Wayback Machine.
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- "Dîner de gala au Palais de Fredensborg" [Gala dinner at Fredensborg Palace]. Noblesse et Royautes. 13 May 2011. Retrieved 2014-12-11.
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- Rubinstein, Mogens (1996). Dronning Margrethe II, 25 år som regent (in Danish). Copenhagen: Møntergården. ISBN 8775535521.
- Skipper, Jon Bloch (2008). Tre søstre, samtaler mellem dronning Margrethe, prinsesse Benedikte og dronning Anne-Marie (in Danish). Copenhagen: Lindhardt og Ringhof. ISBN 9788711300602.
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Margrethe IIBorn: 16 April 1940
|Queen of Denmark