Saturday, 26 March 2011

Three days of celebrations for Queen Margrethe’s forty years on the throne

Earlier this week Christian Eugen-Olsen, the Master of Ceremonies at the Danish court, celebrated his seventieth birthday (the Prince Consort attended a reception in his honour at Christiansborg Palace) and Billed-Bladet online (external link) reports that he has agreed to stay on for another year in order to organise three days of celebrations of Queen Margrethe II’s forty years on the throne in January 2012.
Monarchs in general tend to hold larger celebrations only for the 25th, 50th and 60th anniversaries of their accession to the throne, while 40th anniversaries are normally more low-key affairs if commemorated at all. There were no grand events to mark Queen Elizabeth II of Britain’s forty years on the throne in 1992, while King Haakon VII of Norway had a gala performance at the National Theatre for his fortieth anniversary in 1945.
However, Queen Margrethe is known to enjoy celebrations and few of Europe’s monarchies do these things with such style as her. The last anniversary of her accession to the throne which was celebrated in grand style was her silver jubilee in January 1997, which saw a service of thanksgiving in Christiansborg Palace Church (which was re-inaugurated on that occasion following the disastrous fire of 1992), a reception at the City Hall and a gala banquet at Christiansborg Palace.
Unlike weddings and birthdays there was however no major gathering of foreign royals for the silver jubilee. Except for the Danish royal family it was attended by the King, Queen and Crown Prince of Norway, the Presidents of Iceland and Finland and their wives, and the former royal family of Greece. The King, Queen and Crown Princess of Sweden were also due to attend, but cancelled their attendance because of court mourning for Prince Bertil, who was buried the day before. Princess Christina did however attend the service of thanksgiving.
The photo shows Queen Margrethe on her seventieth birthday last April, which was also celebrated in grand manner. This year she will for once not make the traditional balcony appearance at Amalienborg on her birthday, but rather spend the day at Marselisborg Palace in Århus.

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