Queen Margrethe of Denmark, 71, marked the 40th anniversary of her accession on January 14, 2012.  The anniversary falls on the day that her father, King Frederik IX, died at Amalienborg Palace in 1972.  The Queen married in 1967, a French diplomat, Count Henri de Laborde de Montpezat, now known as Prince Henrik.  They are the parents of two sons, Crown Prince Frederik (b. 1968) and Prince Joachim (b. 1969).  Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik are also have seven grandchildren with an eighth one on the way.

The first of three daughters born to King Frederik IX and Queen Ingrid (nee Princess of Sweden), Margrethe II, through her mother, is a direct descendant of Queen Victoria (her mother having been the granddaughter of Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught, Queen Victoria’s third son), thus making Queen Margrethe a cousin of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, who this year will be celebrating her 60 years on the throne.  Queen Margrethe is a well-respected figure in Denmark, is known to be highly intelligent and is a fluent linguist and an accomplished artist.  She also has a dedicated view of her role as Queen regnant.  In an interview given to the BBC to mark her 40th anniversary on the throne, Queen Margrethe stated that being a monarch is “not a life sentence but a life of service.”  And referring to her cousin Queen Elizabeth II and the parallels in their lives as queens regnant, Queen Margrethe also stated that, “Right from the start, even before she was queen, she talked about dedicating herself to her nation. . .    And I felt that very much 40 years ago, that day when I was proclaimed,I must somehow understand that I must dedicate my life to my nation like she has done.  And in that way she has been very important to me.”  Photos below from Corbis.



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