Birthday of Queen Margrethe II of Denmark Date in the current year: April 16, 2024

Birthday of Queen Margrethe II of Denmark The birthday of Queen Margrethe II of Denmark is celebrated on April 16. It is not a public holiday, but it was an official flag-flying day during the Queen’s reign and remained one even after her abdication in 2024.

Margrethe II reigned as Queen of Denmark for exactly 52 years, from January 1972 until her abdication in January 2024. She is the country’s second-longest reigning monarch after Christian IV, who reigned Denmark for 59 years and 330 days from 1588 until his death in 1648. However, Christian ascended the throne as a child, while Margrethe was almost 32 at the time of her ascension.

Princess Margrethe was born on April 16, 1940 to Crown Prince Frederick and Princess Ingrid (future King Frederick IX of Denmark and Queen Ingrid). Her birth took place just a week after the German invasion of Denmark during World War II. Margrethe’s grandfather, King Christian X, died shortly after her seventh birthday, and her father ascended the throne as King Frederik IX.

At the time of Margrethe’s birth, only males could inherit the throne of Denmark, thus the heir presumptive was her father’s younger brother, Prince Knud. When her father ascended the throne, the new royal couple had three daughters, and it was clear that Queen Ingrid would have no more children. As a result, it was decided to change the constitution so that Princess Margrethe would be able to acceed to the throne. The process was complicated, but the new Act of Succession permitting female succession was finally adopted in 1953 after a referendum.

Upon graduating from school, Margrethe studied prehistoric archaeology and economy in England, political science in her native Denmark, and attended the Sorbonne in France. While studying in London, the princess met Count Henri de Laborde de Monpezat, a French diplomat. They got engaged in 1966 and married on June 10, 1967. Their first child, Prince Frederik (future king Frederik X) was born on May 26, 1968, and their second child, Prince Joachin, was born on June 7, 1969.

King Frederik IX fell ill at the turn of the year 1971/72 and died on January 14, 1972. Margrethe ascended the throne at age 31 as Queen Margrethe II. Her husband was styled Prince Henrik of Denmark. She went on to reign for 52 years; during her reign, support for Danish monarchy remained consistently high, as did the queen’s personal popularity. Margrethe announced her abdication in her 2023 New Year’s Eve address, citing her declining health as the main reason. Her abdication took place on her 52nd accession anniversary, January 14, 2024.

In Denmark, the birthdays of certain members of the royal family are flag-flying days. Back when Margrethe II was the reigning queen, she would make an appearance either on her balcony at Amalienborg Palace (the winter residence of the royal family) or outside the Marselisborg Palace (the summer residence of the royal family) depending on where she had decided to spend her holiday. After her abdication, she no longer makes an appearance on her birthday, but it is still customary to raise the national flag in Margrethe’s honor.

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