We focus on four amazing royal ladies on International Women’s Day, Sunday, 8 March 2020, including two long-reigning monarchs.

Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth has become Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, overtaking her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria’s lengthy reign on 9 September 2015.

Portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, 1954, also known as the ‘wattle painting’, by William Dargie. National Museum of Australia

On 20 November 1947, she married Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, later Philip Mountbatten, Duke of Edinburgh, in Westminster Abbey.

They have four children, Charles, Anne, Andrew and Edward.

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip celebrated their Platinum (70th) Wedding Anniversary in 2017.

She has been on the throne for 68 years and still serving Britain and the Commonwealth, including countries such as Australia, Canada and New Zealand, and has no plans to abdicate.

Her father George VI died on 6 February 1952, so Elizabeth became Queen, aged 25.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip celebrated their 70th Wedding Anniversary in 2017. Photo: Matt Holyoak/Camera Press.

Queen Elizabeth will celebrate her 94th birthday on 21 April 2020, but she had endured recent scandals involving Prince Andrew and Megxit, with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex standing down from official duties.

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark

Margrethe II became Queen of Denmark on 14 January 1972, following the death of her father, Frederik IX, and has ruled for over 48 years. 

She celebrated her Ruby Jubilee (40th Anniversary) as Queen in 2012.

queen margrethe denmark
Queen Margrethe II of Denmark. Photo: Per Morten Abrahamsen

Despite claims from women’s magazines, Queen Margrethe has no plans to abdicate in favour and has said she will ‘remain on the throne until she falls off it.’

She married French diplomat Henri Marie Jean André, Count of Laborde de Monpezat on 10 June 1967. Her husband was known as Prince Henrik of Denmark. They have two sons, Crown Prince Frederik and Prince Joachim.

Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary in 2017.

Prince Henrik and Queen Margrethe II celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary in 2017. Photo: © Kongehuset

She will celebrate her 80th birthday on 16 April 2020.

Queen Margrethe has been involved in various forms of art since 1970, including painting, embroidery, watercolours, print, illustrating books and découpage works.

She sewed an altar cloth to mark the Reformation’s 500th Anniversary in Wittenberg Cathedral in 2017 and has designed costumes for various ballet, theatre and pantomime performances.

The Queen’s work has been on display in exhibitions at various Danish art museums.

Some of her work features in the Danish version of J R R Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings when it was republished in 2002.

Anne, The Princess Royal

Princess Anne has been the British Royal Family’s hardest-working member, often carrying out official engagements with a no-nonsense approach and hardly any fanfare.

Princess Anne
Princess Anne during the Chatham House Prize 2015 award ceremony. Photo: Chatham House / CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)

She first visited Australia with her parents on an official tour in 1970, commemorating the Bicentenary of Captain Cook’s discovery of the East Coast in 1770.

Princess Anne has worked tirelessly for various charities, especially Save The Children when she became President in 1970.

She has visited Australia in her role as Colonel-in-Chief of both the Royal Australian Corps of Signals and the Royal Australian Corps of Transport.

Princess Anne has also attended various memorials and services, including the National Memorial Service for the Black Saturday bushfire victims in Melbourne in 2009.

Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, the Prince of Wales and Princess Anne toured Australia for the Bicentenary of Captain James Cook’s first voyage to Australia in 1770. Photo: State Library of New South Wales Collection.

As the first member of the Royal Family, Princess Anne represented Britain during the 1976 Montreal Summer Olympic Games in Eventing.

The Queen granted the title of Princess Royal, which dates back to the 17th Century during Charles I’s reign, to Anne in 1987.

The Princess Royal has been an active member of the International Olympic Committee since 1988, representing Britain, and she was involved in London’s successful bid to host the Games in 2012.

The Princess Royal at a parade on the 75th anniversary of the Royal Australian Corps of Signals in 2000.

Her daughter Zara Phillips won a Silver Medal after competing in an equestrian event during the London Games. Princess Anne presenting the medals to the British team, including her daughter.

Princess Anne was seen catching the London Underground to attend engagements in London in February 2020.

Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway

The single mother with a past married into Norway’s Crown Prince Haakon in 2001 in Oslo Cathedral.

HRH The Crown Princess. Photo: Jørgen Gomnæs / The Royal Court.

They have two children, Princess Ingrid Alexandra, and Prince Sverre Magnus.

Crown Princess Mette-Marit is Patron of the Norwegian Red Cross and became the ambassador for Norwegian Literature at international events on 26 April 2017.

During the past few years, the Crown Princess with cooperation with the Norwegian State Railways and Oslo Public Library set out on the Literature Train, which has run annually from 2014.

The Literature Train consists of the locomotive, Royal Train Carriages, a cafe carriage, a passenger carriage and the library carriage, which is specially furnished with books from the Oslo Public Library and from the Crown Princess’ own book collection.

Crown Princess Mette-Marit at Skaugum preparing for the Literature Train in 2018. Photo: Christian Lagaard, The Royal Court of Norway

Crown Princess Mette-Marit organises literary meetings between authors and the public, along the route, usually at public libraries, and some events held at railway stations. 

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