Longest-serving regent: Chain-smoking, pragmatic, modern: Queen Margrethe strives for a contemporary monarchy - to the annoyance of her own family

Her 50th year on the throne was a turbulent one.

Longest-serving regent: Chain-smoking, pragmatic, modern: Queen Margrethe strives for a contemporary monarchy - to the annoyance of her own family

Her 50th year on the throne was a turbulent one. The Danish queen first had to cope with the cumbersome postponement of the big celebrations for her throne anniversary due to the corona pandemic, then months later she had to make extensive changes to her plans because of the death of British Queen Elizabeth II. As if that wasn't stress enough for an over 80-year-old , a decision by the regent caused public trouble with her son Prince Joachim. How will things continue for the 82-year-old Dane - the longest reigning monarch on earth since the Queen's death - in 2023?

First of all, without a third cousin. Queen Elizabeth II is dead, which means that Margrethe has not only lost a distant relative, but also a long-standing role model. After Margrethe took over the throne from her late father Frederik IX on January 14, 1972. had inherited, the young queen in Copenhagen looked up to the queen in London. Elizabeth II set out to serve her kingdom with dedication and dignity for decades - Margaret II did the same as regent over Denmark, Greenland and the Faroe Islands. In the process, she also developed a great interest and talent for art and culture - and a notorious cigarette consumption, which she is said to have curtailed for some time.

Suddenly she died, the tall and petite queen. "Your mother was very important to me and my family. She was an outstanding personality among European monarchs and a great inspiration for all of us," Margrethe said in a sympathetic letter to the Queen's son Charles, whom she already described as " His Majesty King Charles III." designated.

The news of her death from the UK reached Margrethe just two days before the big celebrations for her 50th jubilee. Due to the spread of the Omicron variant at the beginning of the year, these festivals had been postponed from the actual deadline in January to September. Margrethe reacted: Some things were postponed again, but individual gala events with other Nordic royal couples and heads of state were still held.

A carriage ride and a reception in Copenhagen City Hall, where she waved a beaming smile to her people, were only made up for some distance in November. Waving red and white Denmark flags, the Danes were able to celebrate their top compatriot. They celebrated their queen with loud shouts of "Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah!" Directly after the Queen's death, that would have seemed irreverent.

The monarch, who is very popular with the Danish people, has thus managed a balancing act between celebration and restraint - there it was again, the pragmatism she is often said to have. With this she had previously made a difficult decision with consequences: at the end of September she announced that the four children of her second son Prince Joachim (53) would have to do without their prince and princess titles from the New Year. From January 1, 2023, they will only be counted as Counts or Countess of Monpezat.

Margrethe had not seen the disappointment this would lead to in Joachim's family. "I made my decision as a queen, mother and grandmother, but as a mother and grandmother I underestimated how affected my youngest son and his family felt," she said. In addition to her regrets, she also made it clear that it was her duty and her wish to develop the monarchy in a contemporary way. "Sometimes this requires difficult decisions to be made and it will always be difficult to find the right timing."

However, the Danes can understand this difficult step, it seems. Shortly before Christmas, an opinion poll commissioned by broadcaster TV2 showed that 53 percent of those surveyed approved of the decision. Only 19 percent thought it was bad.

Ultimately, with her controversial decision, Margrethe wanted to create the framework conditions for Joachim's children Nikolai (23), Felix (20), Henrik (13) and Athena (10) to be able to stand on their own two feet. "No one should doubt that my children, children-in-law and grandchildren are my great joy and pride," she said. After a few weeks the court peace was restored to some extent. What was missing was communication, said Joachim. But also: "We're on the right track."

The younger brother of Crown Prince Frederik (54) will vacate his post as defense attaché at the Danish embassy in Paris after the end of the contract in summer 2023. He then wants to leave France with his family. Where? The tabloid "B.T." knew to report that it should go in the direction of the USA, where Joachim is said to have shot a new top job in the defense industry. Officially, however, this is still just as open as the future of his four children, who now have to do without the title of prince.

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