Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II of Denmark has talked about her father’s death in a new interview with the Danish magazine ALT. The Queen was only 31-years-old when the flags were hung at half-mast across the Kingdom of Denmark after her father, King Frederick IX, died on January 12, 1972.
In the interview, Her Majesty spoke of the dramatic time, saying: “Dad became ill with pneumonia on the New Year’s night after his New Year speech on December 31, 1971. He was admitted to the Municipal Hospital in Copenhagen, where his heart began to fail, and we could see that this was serious.
“At that time, we had New Year’s breakfast in the morning and New Year’s dinner later, and I had to represent my father as head of the family. I remember very clearly thinking that this is not a one-time event. It is rather the first time of many. I got it right. Dad died only 14 days later. ”
Queen Margrethe also spoke of the seriousness that burdened her when her father died.
The 79-year-old monarch said: “We said goodbye to him at the Municipal Hospital, and I went back to Amalienborg, where the guard lieutenant from the royal guards, the major and the banner-officer brought the royal flags from my father and mother’s part of the castle, walked across the castle square and brought the flags to my rooms in Amalienborg castle as a visible sign that the burden of being monarch was now mine.
“It was in many ways an emotional moment. I was afflicted with grief and had just said goodbye to my father, and half an hour later, I received the lifeguard’s flags and was very conscious that now this was serious. Now it was time to step up! ”
Queen Margrethe’s father died on January 14, 1972. She then ascended the Danish throne as Margrethe II of Denmark. She was proclaimed Queen at Christiansborg Castle by the then Danish Prime Minister Jens Otto Krag on January 15, 1972. The Queen chose her royal motto to be: God’s help, the People’s love, Denmark’s strength.
The Queen’s father was buried on January 24, ten days after his death. His final burial place in Roskilde Cathedral was first completed in 1985 – twelve years after his death. Margrethe has ruled as Queen Denmark for 47 years.