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The Danish Royal Year in Review

Queen Margrethe, Princess Benedikte
Det Danske Kongehus You Tube Still/ fair use

It was supposed to be a big year for the Danish Royal Family with Queen Margrethe celebrating her 80th birthday in grand style. However, the coronavirus pandemic curtailed plans, and all events were cancelled. Still, the Danish Royal Family had a busy year. Let’s take a look back!


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The Danish royals kicked off the new year with their annual tradition: The New Year’s Reception. Queen Margrethe was joined by Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary, Prince Joachim and Princess Marie, and Princess Benedikte.

Royal Central reported on a robbery at Marselisborg Palace (the man was later arrested), and counted the total number of days the Danish royals (as well as the other Scandinavian and Spanish royals) worked.

Crown Princess Mary sent a message to the Australian Prime Minister following the devastating bush fires; a few days later, the Crown Prince children began their winter semester at the Lemania-Verbier International School in Switzerland (their housing situation later caused a bit of controversy with the Danish government, leading to the family to change the way they rent out the chalet). Crown Prince Frederik accepted a new patronage with HCØ2020.

Plans for Queen Margrethe’s 80th birthday in April were announced, including a postage stamp to commemorate the milestone. Meanwhile, Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine celebrated their ninth birthday, with new photos taken by Mary released. Princess Athena celebrated her eighth birthday, with new photos taken by Princess Marie released.

Queen Margrethe and Princess Benedikte attended a special concert for the 100th anniversary of the reunification of South Jutland; Princess Marie opened an art exhibition in Paris that celebrated the work of Danish sculptors.


On Crown Princess Mary’s birthday, Royal Central looked back at her life. Queen Margrethe and Princess Benedikte continued their sister act with a museum engagement; and later in the month, Queen Margrethe announced the tour locations for the Dannebrog yacht’s summer tour.

After a skiing injury in Switzerland, Crown Prince Frederik had surgery on his shoulder. Princess Marie announced that she would pay a visit to Uganda at the end of the month in her role as patron of DanChurch Aid. As Queen Margrethe’s birthday plans continued, the first foreign royal guests were announced.


Royal Central covered Princess Marie’s visit to Uganda (day two here), as well as Crown Prince Frederik’s emotional visit to a Syrian refugee camp in Jordan.

As the coronavirus pandemic began to spread worldwide, the Crown Prince Family moved back to Denmark from Switzerland. The Danish Royal Family then cancelled all engagements from 12 March to the beginning of April as a precaution.  

In a televised speech, Queen Margrethe said: “We can create new hope in a difficult time,” while Prince Joachim and family also returned to Denmark from Paris, with a sick Prince Henrik (who has made a full recovery). The Crown Prince Family also released a statement about the coronavirus, and Prince Christian’s confirmation, set to take place in 2020, was postponed (and has still been postponed as of December).

As Queen Margrethe’s 80th birthday celebrations were cancelled or curtailed due to the pandemic, it was announced instead that Danes would sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to their queen from their homes instead.


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Queen Margrethe’s milestone birthday provided lots of coverage at Royal Central. We looked back at Queen Margrethe’s childhood, her path to the throne, her love with Prince Henrik, her role as a mother, a grandmother, her royal heritage, her past jubilee moments, and her reign as queen.

New official portraits were released to mark Queen Margrethe’s 80th birthday. Further portraits were later released. A third set was released on 16 April.

Royal Central noticed the poignant tribute to the late Prince Henrik in the Queen’s portraits, and we looked at how Denmark was preparing to fete their queen. On the morning of her birthday, we covered her traditional morning balcony appearance.

Since they couldn’t attend in person, Europe’s royals recorded video birthday messages for Queen Margrethe. Her grandchildren did the same!

Queen Margrethe’s nickname is Daisy, and Royal Central looked into the history of this moniker. We also looked at the best diamond tiaras, and some of the Danish jewellery made the list.

On World Autism Day, Princess Marie released a message. As the coronavirus pandemic continued, the Danish Royal Family cancelled all engagements into the summer. Princess Isabella celebrated her 13th birthday, with new photos taken by her mother released. Crown Princess Mary called for childhood vaccine support, and Prince Joachim and Princess Marie switched residences.


Prince Henrik’s 11th birthday was celebrated with new portraits, which were taken by his eight-year-old sister, Princess Athena.

Queen Margrethe led the nation at commemorations for the 75th anniversary of the Liberation of Denmark. She also shared her memories of the day – she would have been five-years-old at the time.

Prince Joachim, Princess Marie and family moved back to Paris. On their 14th wedding anniversary, Royal Central looked back at the wedding of Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary.

Prince Christian and Princess Isabella returned to school after two months of homeschooling, back in Denmark, not Switzerland. Prince Nikolai, however, was unable to return to university this term. We looked back at Crown Prince Pavlos’s life, the would-be king of Greece on his birthday. The Danish Royal Run, an event launched by Crown Prince Frederik in 2018, was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic; but royal residences and museums were given a reopening date.

Prince Christian joined his father for a rare engagement; Crown Princess Mary visited the WHO European Region offices to discuss COVID-19.

Royal Central looked at the best emerald tiaras while the Danish Royal Court shared details about a wedding heirloom belonging to Queen Ingrid.


Crown Princess Mary opened a new design exhibition and followed in her father-in-law’s footsteps. Prince Joachim was announced as Denmark’s new military attaché to France. Queen Margrethe and Princess Benedikte paid tribute to their mother, Queen Ingrid. Queen Margrethe unveiled a new portrait of herself, coming ‘face to face’ with the queen.

Royal Central looked back at the wedding of Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik on what would have been their 53rd anniversary. We later looked at some of the best pearl tiaras.


July started with Royal Central looking back at an American-born Danish princess and the best ruby tiaras.

Crown Princess Mary launched a new campaign to combat loneliness with her Mary Foundation. Princess Benedikte’s dresses went on display for a summer exhibit, and it was a return to normalcy as Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary announced they would visit the Netherlands for a business promotion in the fall.

Crown Princess Mary gave a speech at the United Nations Human Rights Council. Later in the month, her family shared some summer snaps. Prince Felix celebrated his 18th birthday.

Prince Joachim underwent emergency brain surgery following a blood clot in the brain (he made a full recovery), and the well-wishes poured in. We later learned that the prince had given an interview the same day he became ill. Danish doctors were said to be in touch with his French doctors, and we got an update that he was doing well following surgery.


In early August, Prince Joachim left the hospital to recover at home. His ex-wife, Alexandra, gave an interview to discuss his health; and mid-month, he was seen for the first time since falling ill.

Royal Central reported a dispute about castle inheritance in the extended family, and Crown Princess Mary helped release stingrays into Danish waters with the WWF Fund for Nature. Following a bit of public backlash for not wearing a face covering, she released a message the next day encouraging people to follow protocols. At the end of the month, Crown Princess Mary spoke at a virtual Danish Pride event.


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New photos of the Crown Prince Family were released; and Royal Central looked at the European royals with artistic talents. We also looked at who, in the Danish Royal Family, is in the line of succession to the British throne and who Queen Margrethe’s grandparents were.

The Danish Royal Family got a funding increase and Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary’s business trip to the Netherlands was cancelled due to the ongoing pandemic. Crown Princess Mary attended a summit on how to build back better after the pandemic, and the Crown Prince Couple attended Flag Day commemorations.

Crown Princess Mary gave speeches at the 10 Years of Action conference (with the United Nations) and the World Health Organisation’s Regional Committee meeting. Crown Prince Frederik met with entrepreneurs who’d won big prizes.

Crown Princess Mary honoured Australian soldiers in Denmark and joined the commission for the UN Population Fund.

Another official portrait of Queen Margrethe was released; Prince Joachim was promoted to Brigadier General; and Denmark commemorated the 150th birthday of King Christian X.  


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Princess Marie, a long-time advocate against food waste, won an award for her campaigning and volunteered with DanChurch Aid while in Denmark. Crown Princess Mary presented the Teacher of the Year Award and attended the Danish Rainbow Awards. In an interview, Princess Benedikte discussed her love of fashion; and sadly, her daughter’s Olympics-winning horse passed away.

Queen Margrethe and the Royal Family attended the opening of Parliament. Crown Princess Mary attended a UN Girls event to mark UN Girls Day. Princess Benedikte honoured fallen freedom fighters from the Danish Resistance. At a fashion summit, Crown Princess Mary gave a speech. Princess Benedikte attended the Equestrian World Cup. Crown Princess Mary attended a World Hour for the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and later spoke about how loneliness affects young people. She also visited a pool to see a swimming club’s anti-bullying initiative and unveiled this year’s Christmas stamp.  

Prince Christian celebrated his 15th birthday; new portraits were revealed to celebrate the occasion.

Queen Margrethe closed out the month by officially cancelling the traditional New Year’s Galas and cancelling all of her public appearances for the foreseeable future. She also recorded her first podcast.

Queen Margrethe’s cancelled schedule meant that Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary would take a more prominent public role.


The Crown Prince Couple presented their annual awards, virtually. While their physical visit to the Netherlands was cancelled, Crown Prince Frederik instead participated in a virtual summit between Danish and Dutch businesses.

Queen Margrethe approved a charity’s accounts and Prince Joachim gave his first interview since brain surgery in the summer. Queen Margrethe attended a military parade. Royal Central looked ahead to 2022, and what will be her Golden Jubilee. Prince Joachim and Princess Marie celebrated their copper anniversary, a Danish tradition to mark 12.5 years of marriage. Crown Princess Mary visited a UNESCO World Heritage School, and the Danish Royal Family announced their Christmas plans.


Queen Margrethe launched the digital advent calendar, following the adventures of an Elf Girl travelling across the kingdoms of Denmark, Greenland and the Faroe Islands to reunite with her brothers.

Sadly, on 7 December, Prince Christian became the first member of the Danish Royal Family to test positive for COVID-19. He was isolated following protocol and made a recovery. The Crown Prince Family was tested and all received negative results; he did not come into contact with other relatives during this time.

Crown Princess Mary wrote a special Christmas message for the Mary Foundation, and the Danish Royal Family changed their Christmas plans.

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.