100 years ago today Queen Ingrid of Denmark was born. I mark her centennial with an article in the leading Danish broadsheet Politiken today, titled “Queen Ingrid and the modern monarchy”.
Queen Ingrid was arguably the most influential and significant Danish queen since Juliane Marie, with the possible exception of Christian IX’s Louise (into whose role little research has been done). Queen Ingrid was one of the last royals from the world of yesterday, but also the one who, together with King Frederik IX, created the modern Danish monarchy as we know it today.
In both her native land Sweden and her adopted country Denmark, the preceding generations of the royal family had been closely involved in political struggles, fighting a rear-guard action against democracy and parliamentarianism. King Frederik IX was the first non-political monarch in Denmark and what he and Queen Ingrid did was to transform the monarchy into an institution which, although not democratic itself, lives in harmony with the democracy.
In their days, the monarchy’s character became representational rather than political and this new brand of monarchy also involved shifting the focus from the King alone to the royal family as an ideal family. This also necessitated the active use of the media. Also new was the concept of kingship as a partnership between the King and the Queen.
Although much has been written about Queen Ingrid’s good influence on her husband, I argue in my article that his influence on her was also to her benefit. King Frederik and Queen Ingrid were in many ways opposites, yet the synthesis of their respective qualities made them a near-ideal combination.
My article on the life and legacy of this great queen may be read in its entirety at Politiken’s website: http://politiken.dk/debat/kroniker/article933942.ece