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DenmarkEuropean Royals

Denmark’s Golden Jubilee: the proclamation of a queen

On 15 January 1972, a 31-year-old princess became the first Queen of Denmark in modern times, proclaimed from the balcony of Christiansborg Palace as Queen Margrethe II.

Standing with Prime Minister Jens Otto Krag, Margrethe took part in a five-minute ceremony stripped from the pomp and ceremony that surrounds a British coronation. She was dressed entirely in black, including a long veil and the regalia of the Order of the Elephant and King Frederick IX’s Family Order attached to her gown.

There was no tiara, no crown: the only time the Danish crown jewels are used is at a monarch’s funeral, where the crown is placed atop their coffin.

To begin the proclamation, Prime Minister Krag faced in three different directions and announced three different times, “King Frederick IX is dead! Long Live Her Majesty, Queen Margrethe II!”

The crowd saluted their new queen nine times, shouting “Hurrah!” as Queen Margrethe officially began her reign.

Prime Minister Krag then eulogised King Frederick IX before Queen Margrethe gave a short speech, telling the crowds below, “My beloved father, our King, is dead. The task that my father had carried for nearly 25 years is now resting on my shoulders. I pray to God to give me help and strength to carry the heavy heritage. May the trust that was given to my father also be granted to me.”

She also revealed her official motto: “God’s help, the love of The People, Denmark’s strength.”

Queen Margrethe II Portrait
Queen Margrethe in a photo for her Jubilee. Photo: Per Morten Abrahamsen

Queen Margrethe was then joined on the balcony with her husband, Prince Henrik, to thank the crowds before the pair departed for the Parliament building.

Queen Margrethe’s first duties as monarch included a meeting with her cabinet and a meeting with the Prime Minister, where Krag offered—as is tradition—to resign his government. Queen Margrethe rejected the resignation, another tradition, and invited him to continue his government in her name.

Later, after returning to her official residence at Amalienborg, Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik again made a balcony appearance, this time with Crown Prince Frederik and Prince Joachim in tow.  

About author

Jess Ilse is the Assistant Editor at Royal Central. She specialises in the British, Danish, Norwegian and Swedish Royal Families and has been following royalty since Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee. Jess has provided commentary for media outlets in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Jess works in communications and her debut novel THE MAJESTIC SISTERS will publish in Fall 2024.