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Annus Mirabilis or Annus Horribilis? The Danish Year in Review

Keld Navntoft, Kongehuset ©

There were multiple reasons to celebrate in Denmark this year. Not only was it Queen Margrethe’s Golden Jubilee year, but Crown Princess Mary also celebrated her 50th birthday. But while there were moments of great joy within the kingdom, there were also moments of sadness and scandal with the news that Prince Joachim’s children—Prince Nikolai, Prince Felix, Prince Henrik and Princess Athena—will lose their titles on 1 January.

Let’s take a look at the royal year for the Danish Royal Family.


January began full steam ahead for the Danish Royal Family as more details were released on Queen Margrethe’s Golden Jubilee. This included a new stamp and guest lists for special events, but unfortunately, due to a spike in COVID-19 cases, the bulk of her Golden Jubilee celebrations were moved to a later date.

On 14 January, Queen Margrethe marked 50 years since her accession, and Royal Central celebrated the Danish Queen with a series of articles on her royal godparents, her titles, her educational background, her meeting with Elvis Presley, and the death of her father, Frederik IX.

We also examined the 50 years of her reign, her artistic endeavours, and who she is as a person. We looked at the proclamation made on 14 January 1972 and how, 50 years later, her Golden Jubilee had gotten off to a solemn start. On the date of her Golden Jubilee, Denmark celebrated their Queen.

Steen Brogaard, Kongehuset ©

And if you’ve ever wondered why Queen Margrethe is nicknamed Daisy, we also wrote about that. We also wrote about ‘Dear Aunt Daisy’ and how the European royal families all view her with such reverence. We announced that the Danish Royal Family would receive Golden Jubilee Medals and shared the official Golden Jubilee photo album released by the Royal Court.

Queen Margrethe later opened a special jewellery exhibit to mark her Golden Jubilee,

Elsewhere, Queen Margrethe sat down for an interview about the Royal Yacht Dannebrog and then answered questions from regular Danes ahead of her Golden Jubilee. A new coin was issued with her likeness, and former US President Bill Clinton spoke about his memories of the Danish Queen. We reported on who would attend her various events and shared the images of new stamps issued in Greenland and the Faroe Islands.

Meanwhile, Crown Princess Mary was gearing up for her milestone birthday in February, and new details were announced on how the future Queen would celebrate. We also looked to the future of the Danish Royal Family, wondering what King Frederik X and Queen Mary would accomplish during their reign. We also covered how Crown Princess Mary came face to face with the women who also held her title in a new exhibit.

In a new book for her 50th birthday, Crown Princess Mary revealed behind-the-scenes details of her 2004 wedding day. She also shared the advice she received from her late mother, who passed away in 1997, that has guided her through her royal life.

Photo by Tine Harden from the book Mary H.K.H.

Crown Prince Frederik shared special birthday greetings to Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway on her 18th birthday. The Crown Prince is her godfather. He also met with the Danish Red Cross to learn how the organisation is helping Afghan refugees.

Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine turned 11 and helped their father announce the Royal Run 2022; later, their mother released new portraits of her youngest children. Princess Athena turned 10, and new photos were released to mark the occasion. Prince Nikolai moved from Paris back to Denmark.

In a quirky bit of foreshadowing, Prince Joachim sat down for an interview where he spoke candidly of his freedom and how, unlike his brother, he could set his own course and proclaimed that he wanted his children to have more freedom within their own careers. By the autumn, his tune changed.

Sadly, Queen Anne-Marie of Greece, Margrethe’s youngest sister, had to announce that she would be unable to attend Golden Jubilee events owing to her husband’s ill health. Queen Sonja and Queen Silvia spoke in an interview about their admiration for Queen Margrethe. Princess Benedikte tearfully remembered her parents, King Frederik IX and Queen Ingrid, and spoke about her sister’s reign, and Queen Margrethe gave her parents a curtsey at a gravesite memorial service.

Keld Navntoft, Kongehuset ©

Queen Elizabeth II, who would mark her own Platinum Jubilee in June, privately reached out to Queen Margrethe. And as Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway celebrated her 18th birthday at the end of the month, we revealed her special connection with Queen Margrethe.


February began with the release of new birthday portraits of Crown Princess Mary, and we covered her milestone birthday extensively at Royal Central. We published articles looking at Mary’s modern royal role, her early years in Australia, her Mary Foundation and the work it does, her focus on health issues, the past queens who were also Crown Princess of Denmark, her Olympic love story, and how she’s set to be a modern queen.

A new hospital wing was named in Crown Princess Mary’s honour, a new exhibit celebrating Australian animals opened at the Copenhagen Zoo, and new photos were released of the Crown Prince Family celebrating their mother.

A special documentary with participation from Mary’s four children was released over her birthday weekend, and we covered all the televised tributes to Denmark’s future Queen. At the end of her birthday weekend, Mary released an emotional statement to the Danish public. Later in the month, Crown Princess Mary handed out educational prizes.

Queen Margrethe opened an exhibit dedicated to the Royal Yacht Dannebrog and later tested positive for COVID-19. She was later given a clean bill of health, though Princess Benedikte tested positive shortly afterwards. Though her Golden Jubilee celebrations were curtailed, a new event was announced this month.

Prince Christian announced that he planned to do volunteer work at school, and Prince Felix announced he was also beginning a modelling career (just like his elder brother Prince Nikolai).

Elsewhere, Princess Benedikte acted as regent for Queen Margrethe while she was on a private holiday with King Harald and Queen Sonja.

Catherine—still Duchess of Cambridge in February—paid a working visit to Denmark to learn more about early years practices in the country and met with both Queen Margrethe and Crown Princess Mary. But, of course, we couldn’t let the visit pass without a look at the fashions of Denmark’s and the UK’s biggest royal fashion plates.

Keld Navntoft, Kongehuset ©


March began with Crown Prince Frederik condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine and Queen Margrethe cancelling a military dinner due to the attack. The Danish twins, Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine were photographed paying tribute to Ukraine, and Queen Margrethe announced that the Danish Royal Family had made a substantial donation to Ukraine.

Queen Margrethe gave Netflix a production idea—don’t worry, for a feature film, not a royal documentary—and Crown Prince Frederik presented science awards. Princess Isabella’s confirmation date was set, and she began the process with her grandmother while Crown Princess Mary spoke about gender diversity at a UN roundtable discussion.

Crown Prince Frederik visited climate-friendly factories and later announced that the Royal Run would hand out environmentally-friendly medals. Queen Margrethe attended a military parade and was later welcomed to Fredensborg Palace with a parade. Crown Prince Frederik helped count down to the Tour de France, which would begin in Copenhagen later in the year.

Princess Isabella announced that she would switch schools in the fall, joining big brother Christian at Herlufsholm. These plans would be scuttled later in the year as a bullying scandal was uncovered at the school.

Elsewhere, Princess Marie celebrated the 100th anniversary of one of her patronages, and a Danish castle was put up for sale. Queen Ingrid’s honorary scholarship was presented for the last time 22 years after the death of the former Queen of Denmark.


Queen Margrethe invited Princess Isabella to an Easter service ahead of her confirmation, and Crown Princess Mary was announced as a guest speaker at a fashion summit later in June. New birthday photos of Princess Isabella were released as the teen marked her 15th birthday.

Crown Princess Mary announced that she would lead a business delegation to Norway and later surprised with a humanitarian trip to Bangladesh. On this trip, she released a powerful statement on the importance of vaccines.

Photo: DanChurchAid

Princess Marie began a humanitarian trip to Cambodia, and we covered it here. A new poetry prize was announced in memory of the late Prince Henrik. The Danish castle we revealed would go up for sale in March was saved in April from the sale block. Filed under ‘news we’ve all been waiting for for 20 years’ was the announcement that Princess Benedikte’s son would finally be able to marry his long-time love, Carina Axelsson.

And finally, new details were announced for Queen Margrethe’s delayed Golden Jubilee celebrations.


Queen Margrethe hosted an official visit from India, marked a special anniversary alongside Princess Beatrix, presented her eponymous science prize, marked the 300th anniversary of Fredensborg Palace and helped celebrate Denmark’s history of exploration. She also received a special copy of an Icelandic historical book.

Crown Prince Frederik visited his namesake centre at Aarhus University while Crown Princess Mary visited her namesake research centre at the University of Copenhagen and laid the foundation stone at a new hospital.

Franne Voigt ©

Princess Isabella celebrated her confirmation, and the Danish Royal Court released a photo album. A bullying scandal at Herlufsholm made the news, with Prince Christian’s educational choices—and the Crown Prince Couple’s response—becoming front-page news. Princess Benedikte visited the Special Olympics Sports Festival.


As her British counterpart celebrated her unprecedented Platinum Jubilee, Queen Margrethe publicly congratulated Queen Elizabeth II on the milestone.

In Denmark, Queen Margrethe celebrated her jubilee aboard the Royal Yacht Dannebrog while the Crown Prince Family participated in the Royal Run.

Crown Prince Frederik celebrated Danish design and later shared an update on the educational choices of Prince Christian and Princess Isabella. By the end of the month, both children would be pulled from the school for the upcoming autumn term.

In Norway, Crown Princess Mary celebrated fashion and watched as Queen Sonja came face-to-face with fashions of her past. Later in the month, Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary returned to Norway for the 18th birthday gala dinner honouring Princess Ingrid Alexandra. At the end of the month, the Danish royals would send condolences after gun violence sadly occurred in Norway.

In the Netherlands, Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary led a business delegation.

Queen Margrethe presented the Queen’s Clock; Crown Princess Mary helped young people feel less alone with work from the Mary Foundation and later almost had a Cinderella moment when she almost lost her shoe curtseying.

Prince Gustav, son of Princess Benedikte, married his long-time love, Carina Axelsson, officially making her Princess Carina after a 19-year wait due to legal issues surrounding the will of his grandfather, the 5th Prince of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, who demanded that any heirs marry brides with specific characteristics to inherit.


Gun violence marred the beginning of July in Denmark, with the Royal Family condemning the actions. With both Denmark and Norway rocked by gun violence, the royal families of each nation consoled each other.

July was a very quiet month for the Danish Royal Family, but they took time out to celebrate Danish cyclist Jonas Vingeaard, who won the Tour de France.  

At the end of the month, the entire Danish Royal Family, including the families of Queen Anne-Marie and Princess Benedikte, gathered in South Jutland for family portraits and released family videos.

Keld Navntoft, Kongehuset ©


August was another quiet month for the Danish Royal Family, but Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary announced school plans for their two eldest.  

Queen Margrethe received a Golden Jubilee gift from the Danish Armed Forces and began her late summer tour of Denmark aboard the Royal Yacht Dannebrog.

Crown Princess Mary visited Greenland, which we covered here. In a sailing competition between the royal couple, with Crown Prince Frederik representing Denmark and Crown Princess Mary representing Australia, the Aussies came out victorious.

The Crown Prince Couple announced they would visit New York in September to help secure Denmark a spot on the UN Security Council.


Queen Margrethe began celebrating her postponed Golden Jubilee weekend, and we covered how she’d already celebrated.

Sadly, news broke that Queen Elizabeth II had died at the age of 96 just as the Golden Jubilee was about to begin, and plans were curtailed where they could be in deference to the late Queen. The Danish Queen released one of the more poignant tributes to her British counterpart and led Denmark in paying tribute to Queen Elizabeth II.

Keld Navntoft, Kongehuset ©

It was announced that Queen Sonja of Norway would present Queen Margrethe with a special language prize, which we covered here. Unfortunately for Queen Margrethe, shortly after returning to Denmark from Queen Elizabeth II’s State Funeral, she tested positive again for COVID-19.

A scheduling snafu from the British government meant that Crown Princess Mary had been sent an invitation to Queen Elizabeth II’s State Funeral in error. They apologised for the mistake.

Crown Princess Mary opened an exhibit on the UN Sustainable Development Goals and later spoke at a conference on loneliness. The Crown Prince Couple marked Flag Day, and Crown Princess Mary opened a new university campus in Kolding. She spoke about her love of Greenland in an interview with Billed Bladet. Later in the month, the Crown Prince Couple travelled to New York; Crown Princess Mary spoke about grief at Europe’s first Grief Conference.

Queen Margrethe ended September with a bombshell announcement: she would strip her grandchildren, through Prince Joachim, of their prince and princess titles from 1 January 2023.

This decision was praised or derided based on who spoke to the press. Countess Alexandra, ex-wife of Prince Joachim and mother of Princes Nikolai and Felix, lambasted the decision; Prince Joachim gave an interview revealing that he and his children were devastated by the news.

Of course, we covered the big news and revealed who, exactly, would still be designated as princes and princesses after 1 January 2023.


The titles scandal kept brewing into October, with Princess Marie wading into the fray and revealing that her and Prince Joachim’s relationship with the Crown Prince Couple was complicated.

Queen Margrethe ended days of praise and pushback by apologising to her grandchildren for their hurt feelings but sticking to her decision to remove their titles. Crown Prince Frederik later commented that he agreed with his mother’s decision and supported limiting princely status.

As if losing his princely title wasn’t enough, Prince Nikolai also hit a roadblock in selling his Copenhagen apartment. Princess Benedikte travelled to the United States.  

In an energy-conscious move, Queen Margrethe was asked to ‘turn off the lights’ at her palaces; Prince Christian celebrated his 17th birthday privately. Additionally, the Danish Royal Family’s website was updated with new sections on the queens of the past.

With King Charles III’s accession and higher scrutiny on succession rights in general, we ran a series on succession laws for various monarchies, including Denmark’s, here. We also covered the political side of Queen Margrethe’s duties when the Faroe Islands asked her to postpone parliamentary elections.


Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary carried out an official visit to Vietnam—and further waded into comments on the titles decision by pointedly not answering questions about it. We covered the visit here.

Photo by Kongehuset

Queen Margrethe unveiled this year’s Christmas stamp, waited for the country to form a government and continued celebrating her Golden Jubilee. She also marked the 400th anniversary of Denmark’s Jewish community and oversaw an important military tradition. Her latest artistic endeavours were headed to the Tivoli, and later, she attended the ballet with Queen Sonja.

The Danish Royal Family announced their Christmas plans: Queen Margrethe and Princess Benedikte would celebrate together in Denmark, the Crown Prince Couple would visit Mary’s homeland of Australia, and Prince Joachim’s family would celebrate ‘overseas.’

The Crown Prince Couple presented their awards and announced the cities participating in the Royal Run 2023. Later in the month, Crown Princess Mary headed to the UK to join Queen Camilla’s important reception at Buckingham Palace, marking the UN’s conference on gender-based violence.

Prince Joachim kept talking about his children’s titles and announced that his job in France would end in the summer of 2023. He was initially tight-lipped on whether the family would return to Denmark. We covered the initial news here and the announcement later in the month that they’ll move to the United States in the autumn of 2023.  

We ran a series at Royal Central about the monarch’s role in each country, including how Queen Margrethe is constitutionally bound to reign over Denmark.


The Danish Royal Family kicked off the countdown to Christmas with a digital advent calendar, and we covered how the family typically celebrates Christmas.

Prince Nikolai participated in an unfortunately timed documentary on what it means to be a Danish prince. It was filmed in the summer before any announcements were made and was aired in December following the news that he would be stripped of his princely title from 1 January.

About author

Jess is the Senior Royal Reporter and Editorial Assistant at Royal Central. Her interest in royalty started in her teenage years, coinciding with The Queen's Golden Jubilee in 2002 and grew from there. She specializes in the British Royal Family (with emphasis on the Cambridges) and the Danish Royal Family, and has provided royal commentary for media outlets in Canada, the United States, the UK and Australia.