Earlier this week the Danish royal court announced that Queen Margrethe II has appointed a new Lord Chamberlain, a position left vacant by Ove Ullerup’s decision to return to the Foreign Service after eleven years at court. The new Lord Chamberlain is rather surprisingly Michael Ehrenreich, a well-known journalist.
Ehrenreich, who is sixty years old, comes from the post of director of the Foreign Policy Society, which he took up only last year, but before that he worked as a journalist for 34 years, 21 of them (1982-2003) at the newspaper then known as Berlingske Tidende. He was that paper’s correspondent in London from 1984 to 1988 and in Washington from 1988 to 1993 and became editor-in-chief in 2001.
Two years later he became co-editor of Kristeligt Dagblad, a position he held until taking up his current job in 2013. In 2007 he published a biography of the then (and possibly future) US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, Hillary – En amerikansk historie.
While the Lord Chamberlain’s chair is often filled by diplomats or officers it is not the first time Queen Margrethe recruits someone from the media. In 1976 she hired Hans Sølvhøj, a former Social Democratic politician who was at that time director-general of the public broadcaster DR, as her second Lord Chamberlain. Hiring Sølvhøj was Prince Henrik’s idea and turned out to be an inspired choice, as Sølvhøj has been credited with making the monarchy more accessible and encouraging Queen Margrethe to let the world see her artistic side.
The new Lord Chamberlain will take up his post on 15 February, just in time for the state visit of the King and Queen of the Netherlands in mid-March and a series of grand events to celebrate Queen Margrethe’s 75th birthday in April.