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Margrethe at 80: A True Royal Love Story


CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=196071

This month, the Queen of Denmark celebrates her 80th birthday. While celebrations will take place later in the year, owing to the coronavirus outbreak, as Margrethe reaches this major milestone, her remarkable life and reign are again in the spotlight. Today, let’s take a look at the love story of Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik, one that lasted over 50 years.

Princess Margrethe met her future husband, French diplomat Henri de Laborde de Monpezat, while studying at the London School of Economics in 1965. Henri had joined the French Foreign Ministry in 1962, and worked at the London Embassy from 1963 to 1967.

The couple became engaged on 6 October 1966, officially announcing the news in Copenhagen.

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On 10 June 1967, Princess Margrethe and Henri were married at the Naval Church of Copenhagen. Henri began using a Danicised version of his name, Henrik, and received the title and style of a Prince of Denmark. He became Prince Henrik of Denmark.

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The couple welcomed their first son, Prince Frederik, on 26 May 1968.

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Their second son, Prince Joachim, followed on 7 June 1969.

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Princess Margrethe and Prince Henrik continued to carry out engagements on behalf of Denmark. As the eldest daughter of King Frederick IX, Margrethe was the heiress presumptive.

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On 14 January 1972, the King died after a short illness and Margrethe ascended to the Danish throne as Queen Margrethe II, Denmark’s first queen regnant. Prince Henrik became the first male consort to a Danish monarch, a role he struggled with for the rest of his life.

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The couple were artistically-minded, and represented Denmark on the international stage for decades.

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In 1992, the couple celebrated their Silver wedding anniversary.

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Their family expanded when Prince Joachim married Alexandra Manley on 18 November 1995.

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And had two sons, Prince Nicolai and Prince Felix, in 1999 and 2002.

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Crown Prince Frederik married Mary Donaldson, now Crown Princess Mary, in 2004.

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They went on to have four children: Prince Christian in 2005, Princess Isabella in 2007, and twins Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine in 2012.

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Prince Joachim divorced Princess Alexandra in 2005 and later remarried Marie Cavallier in 2008.

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Joachim and Marie made Margerthe and Henrikgrandparents twice more when they had a son, Prince Henrik, and a daughter, Princess Athena.

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In 2012, Queen Margrethe II celebrated her ruby jubilee—40 years on the Danish throne—with her family by her side.

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Sadly, Prince Henrik began experiencing health problems, and was revealed to be living with dementia in September 2017. In January 2018, it was revealed that Prince Henrik had a benign tumour in his lung; and following a short illness in February of that year, Prince Henrik passed away age 83 on 13 February.

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About author

Jess is a communications professional and freelance writer who lives in Halifax and has a passion for all things royal, particularly the British Royal Family.