On Friday, the Danish royal family marked an important milestone: the Golden Jubilee of Queen Margrethe II. The Queen has been on the throne since January 14, 1972. While glittering celebrations are planned for later in the year, the royal family participated in several events to mark the anniversary yesterday.
Margrethe became Queen of Denmark when her father, King Frederik IX of Denmark, passed away on January 14, 1972. She was proclaimed queen the following day. For the proclamation, she wore her diamond and pearl wedding earrings with the ruby horseshoe brooch that her father had given her when she became heir to the throne in 1953.
On Friday, the anniversary of her accession was marked with three events. First, she attended a Council of State at Christiansborg Palace with Crown Prince Frederik. Next, the royal family participated in the Danish Parliament’s official celebration of the anniversary. Above, Queen Margrethe shakes hands with Henrik Dam Kristensen, the speaker of the parliament.
The other senior members of the royal family were photographed as they arrived at Christiansborg Palace for the first two events of the day. Crown Prince Frederik, who has been heir to the throne for half a century, arrived with his wife, Crown Princess Mary.
The Queen’s younger son, Prince Joachim, had traveled from his home in France for the celebrations with his wife, Princess Marie.
And the Queen’s younger sister, Princess Benedikte, was on hand for the celebrations as well. Their third sister, Queen Anne-Marie of Greece, had been scheduled to attend as well. However, her husband, King Constantine, has had several significant health setbacks recently, including testing positive for the coronavirus, so she was unable to make the trip.
During the celebration at parliament, we got a good look at the jewels that the royal women wore to mark the significant royal milestone. Queen Margrethe, as expected, wore the Ruby Horseshoe Brooch to honor her father. But she also added another large brooch: the Diamond Daisy Brooch, which she inherited from her mother, Queen Ingrid, in 2000. Her jewels, then, honored both of her late parents.
The daisy is set with diamonds that belonged to Margrethe’s grandmother, Crown Princess Margareta of Sweden. Margrethe (whose nickname is Daisy) borrowed the brooch from her mother for her wedding in 1967, and she’s worn it on many important days in the years since she inherited it. She finished off the look with a coordinating pair of diamond daisy earrings.
Crown Princess Mary’s subdued jewels also paid tribute to her husband’s grandparents. With her strand of large white pearls, she wore the stud portion of the earrings from the Danish Ruby Parure. The heirloom parure was bequeathed to Crown Prince Frederik by Queen Ingrid, for the use of his future wife. The choice of the earrings was a lovely nod to Denmark’s last queen consort, a role that Mary will one day fill.
Princess Marie wore a jewel linked to Danish royal history as well. With diamond and sapphire earrings, she wore Queen Alexandrine’s Diamond and Sapphire Pendant as a brooch pinned to the lapel of her coat.
Princess Benedikte wore lovely diamond and ruby cluster earrings with pearls and her strawberry brooch. She also wore a lovely ring on her right hand and an interesting watch.
After the celebration at parliament, the family traveled to Roskilde, where they visited the tomb of King Frederik and Queen Ingrid at Roskilde Cathedral.
Queen Margrethe was again joined by Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary, Prince Joachim and Princess Marie, and Princess Benedikte in Roskilde.
Queen Margrethe and Princess Benedikte (who was quite emotional) laid the first wreaths at the graves of their parents. Two more wreaths were then laid by Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary and Prince Joachim and Princess Marie.
To me, one of the most touching parts of the wreath-laying ceremony was the moment when Queen Margrethe curtseyed to her late parents. Reigning monarchs and consorts don’t curtsey or bow as a rule, so this was a rare sight. Margrethe, who is 81, also has back problems, so I can imagine that it wasn’t physically easy to curtsey. The moment was a clear sign of the great respect she feels for both her father and her mother. (Afterward, Princess Benedikte also curtseyed, and the two couples bowed and curtseyed to the tomb as well.)
You’ll note that there was an a new medal pinned to the clothes of Frederik, Mary, Joachim, Marie, and Benedikte as they arrived at the cathedral. This is the new Commemorative Medal in connection with the 50th anniversary of Her Majesty The Queen’s accession to the throne. The medal, made of gilded silver, hangs from a ribbon that exactly matches the blue color of the sash of the Order of the Elephant. The medal was based on a design by royal armorist Ronny Andersen and was produced by Georg Jensen.
Here’s a view of the front of the medal. The royal website explains that the front of the medal features “a full-length portrait of The Queen surrounded by the three silver lions from Rosenborg Palace and the inscription MARGRETHE II DENMARK’S QUEEN,” adding, “The Queen wears the collars and breast stars of the Order of the Elephant and the Order of Dannebrog as well as Frederik IX’s portrait and the Order of Dannebrog’s Grand Commander Cross in the portrait and is flanked by the silver lions, which were made between 1665-70 at the request of Frederik III to stand before the throne. Since then, the lions have been used for ceremonial occasions in the Royal House of Denmark.”
And here’s the back of the medal. It’s described on the royal website as “stamped with The Queen’s crowned monogram surrounded by the collars of the Order of Dannebrog and the Order of the Elephant and with the inscription ’14 JANUARY 1972” – “14 JANUARY 2022′. The monogram surrounded by the chains of the royal orders of chivalry is inspired by how Christian V, in a similar manner, surrounded his monogram with the chains of the royal orders of chivalry.”
The wreath-laying ceremony gave us even more excellent view of the jewels worn on the day. Here’s another view of Queen Margrethe wearing the Ruby Horseshoe Brooch, the Diamond Daisy Brooch, and the coordinating diamond daisy earrings.
And here’s another view of Crown Princess Mary’s pearls and the earrings from the Danish Ruby Parure. Mary also wore the diamond and ruby ring from the set on her right hand.
This photograph gives you a much better view of Princess Marie’s sapphire earrings and Queen Alexandrine’s Diamond and Sapphire Pendant Brooch.
And we also got another view of Princess Benedikte’s diamond and ruby earrings, pearl necklace, and strawberry brooch.
The family’s public engagements for the day ended at the cathedral, but the private celebrations continued later on with a dinner where the entire family in Denmark, including the Queen’s grandchildren, were also in attendance. Delightfully, the court shared a photograph of the dinner, showing everyone gathered around the table, wearing their Golden Jubilee medals. We’ll start at the bottom left, going around the table for identifications: Prince Vincent, Prince Nikolai, Prince Christian, Queen Margrethe, Crown Prince Frederik, Princess Marie, Princess Isabella, Prince Felix, Princess Benedikte, Prince Joachim, Crown Princess Mary, Prince Henrik, Princess Josephine, and Princess Athena.
A couple of brief jewelry notes: Queen Margrethe is wearing an impressive necklace of pearls for the dinner, while Princess Benedikte is wearing the diamond floral brooch given to her by her parents.
We’ve also had two more jewelry-related pieces of news linked to the Danish jubilee this week. On Wednesday, the people of Georg Jensen presented the Queen with a special diamond-studded version of the brooch that won their Jubilee Jewelry contest. The royal website noted that the ” winners of Georg Jensen’s design competition, Ditte Bjerregaard and Sofie Elkjær Jensen, have created a piece of jewelry inspired by Her Majesty’s motto “God’s help, the love of The People, Denmark’s strength” and The Queen’s work with theatrical arts.” Copies of the brooch will be sold to the public, and a portion of the proceeds will be given to Queen Margrethes and Prince Henrik’s Foundation, which supports cultural, scientific, and social projects.
And this week, the publication of a companion book to the special exhibition of Queen Margrethe’s jewelry at Amalienborg Museum was also announced. The book, En Dronnings Smykkeskrin: 50 år som regent fortalt i smykker, was written by Heidi Laura. Copies are on sale now for around $40 USD. I purchased my copy from gucca.dk, mostly because they would ship the book to the United States. (Fair warning that the shipping cost was significant.) Very excited for this book to arrive on my doorstep sometime soon!