biography of Queen Margrethe with a collection of memorable queenly quotes.
Om man så må sige – 350 Dronning Margrethe-citater, published by Lindhardt & Ringhof, is arranged alphabetically, ranging from “abdikation” to “året” (the year) and covering a vast field of topics on the way from A to Å.
I am not sure if an alphabetical order is the best way of arranging such a book; it might perhaps have been more interesting if related topics had been grouped together. As it is, one will for instance find a quote about the Order of the Elephant under E for “Elefantordenen”, while a quote about orders in general is found under “O” for “ordensvæsen”.
The quotes are taken from the Queen’s speeches and from Andersen’s interviews with her for her biography, but primarily from the many, many interviews Queen Margrethe has given to newspapers, magazines, television and books. The oldest are from 1966, the newest very recent.
Occasionally one might have wished for other quotes to have been selected. For instance, there are two quotes about “ungdommen” (young people), both of them dating from 1975, when the Queen herself was fairly young. One supposes her views on that topic may have developed since then. On a couple of occasions I could also think of better Queen Margrethe quotes than those chosen for this book.
Queen Margrethe is interesting, intelligent and witty, and knows how to utilise the Danish language (only one utterance is quoted in another language than Danish). Thus this is a book full of pearls. Just a few examples will be enough:
“We do not have that much to moan about when one thinks of what people did not moan about before”.
“When one loves one gets more to lose”.
“I do not think one should chase the fashions of the day, concerning neither sweaters nor opinions”.
“Generalisations must be broken down on the spot”.
“One would not die from my cooking, but I am not sure one would survive my driving”.
“One may well use one’s head even though one is in love. Someone has said that one cannot prevent lightening from striking – but one may prevent the whole town from burning down”.
“It is not possible to develop into a complete human being if one must live in a room with only three walls”.
“The monarchy is an anachronism if one decides that it should be one”.
“When people say that I may not speak, they forget that I may well think. I may think what I want, like everyone else. I shall just refrain from saying everything I think. That might be something many people should do once in a while”.