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Denmark will be celebrating Queen Margrethe’s life and work this year with a series of events to mark her 80th birthday on 16 April 2020.

queen margrethe denmark

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark. Photo: Per Morten Abrahamsen

Queen Margrethe was born at Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen, the eldest daughter of Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Ingrid (later King Frederik IX and Queen Ingrid) on 16 April 1940.

She has two sisters, Princess Benedikte (born 1944) and Princess Anne-Marie (born 1946).

At the time, her grandfather Christian X was on the throne and Nazi Germany had invaded Denmark a week earlier, on 9 April 1940.

When Christian X died, Margrethe became the heir-presumptive, the laws of succession were changed to allow women to inherit the Danish throne.

Margrethe married French diplomat, Count Henri de Laborde de Monpezat, on 10 June 1967, at the Church of Holmen in Copenhagen. Her new husband became HRH Prince Henrik of Denmark and they were married for over 50 years until his death in 2018.

They had two sons, Frederik and Joachim, and eight grandchildren.

King Frederik died on 14 January 1972 and Margret became the first Queen Regnant under the new laws of succession.

Margrethe celebrated her Ruby Jubilee (40th Anniversary) of her reign in 2012.

queen margrethe 80th birthday

Photo: Per Morten Abrahamsen and Wonderful Copenhagen

Birthday Events

On the occasion of the birthday, the Queen also receives a number of deputations.

2 April – Opening of Exhibition at Frederiksborg Castle

Queen Margrethe will attend the opening of the exhibition ‘The faces of the Queen’ at the National History Museum at Frederiksborg Castle. The exhibition focuses on Queen Margrethe’s life, work and special interests, with films, outfits and scenographic elements as well as a large number of portraits.

3 April – Press Conference

The Queen will hold a press conference in the Garden Hall at Fredensborg Castle.

14 April – Gala Performance at the Royal Theatre

Queen Margrethe will travel in a carriage from Amalienborg to the Royal Theatre, where she, with the royal family and invited guests, watches a gala performance which will be broadcasted live on DR1.

15 April

Children from Denmark’s municipalities visits Queen Margrethe at  Christiansborg Castle in the morning, as a gift from the Danish municipalities.

In the evening, the Queen hosts a gala dinner with official guests from home and abroad, including an entertainment programme in collaboration with TV2.

16 April – Queen Margrethe’s Birthday and Changing of the Guard

Friends and family wake the Queen at Fredensborg Castle with the participation of family and friends.

At 12 noon, the Danes will have the opportunity to congratulate the Queen when she and the royal family step out onto the balcony at Christian IX’s mansion, Amalienborg.

Afterwards, the Queen will ride in a carriage through the streets to Copenhagen City Hall to participate in speeches and entertainment, with an appearance on the balcony.

The day ends with a private dinner and dance at Fredensborg Castle with the rest of the royal family, with guests from home and abroad.

25 April – Ballet at the Tivoli

The Queen celebrates will attend the ballet at the Tivoli Concert Hall, followed by a dinner and fireworks.

5-6 June – Summer Trip to Aarhus Municipality

Queen Margrethe will sail on the Royal Yacht, Dannebrog, with a visit to Aarhus Municipality as part of the birthday celebration.