Just a gratis phonetic Danish guide for all you wannabe Danes out there. “Tilykke Margrethe!” or Congrats Margrethe!” That’s the phrase of the day here in Copenhagen as the beloved Dronning (Queen) celebrates her 75th in appropriately public fashion. Cameras were being set up across Copenhagen yesterday and today, and Her Majesty did not disappoint. Starting from her royal palace at Amalienborg (hub-bub documented below),
she was paraded through Copenhagen to the City Hall, where she was treated to an event not dissimilar from a high school band concert inside the building, as it was being live streamed to the peons out front. An hour later and she on the balcony waving once more to her kingdom. The onlooking Danes were respectfully muted, perhaps thinking of their own parents and grandparents of advanced age who do not take well to a lot of ruckus. The sound of waving plastic Danish flags was the dominant noise, performed dutifully by nearly all in attendance.
Queen Margrethe was born 75 years ago today, and just a week ago Denmark celebrated another monumental, while a bit more sobering, 75th anniversary. On April 9th, 1940, 40,000 German troops entered Denmark at 4:15am and had the country occupied in fewer than four hours. This was a dark time for Denmark, but Margrethe’s birth a week later brought some optimism into the newly-occupied country. A Danish man at the birthday celebrations today told me that Margrethe’s grandfather, Christian X, rode through Copenhagen daily during the Nazi occupation, reassuring his people that Denmark still belonged to the Danes.
Today Margethe does not have to deal with such challenges, but it was nice to see how her birthday can incite such national pride and likely some creative playing hooky stories. Here she is up close, with her son Frederik (the next King of Denmark) and his wife Mary.
Tilykke Margrethe! Here’s a lame statue as to not distract from ol’ queenie: