Queen Daisy and Queen Lizzie: More Than Just Colleagues

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark made several changes to her 50th anniversary program due to the passing of her close friend Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom. Read to learn about their profound friendship.

By Sofie Rønnelund and Sigurd Skjoldaa Kempf / Monday, September 19th, 2022

On September 10, the streets around Amalienborg Castle were supposed to be full of people congratulating Queen Margrethe II on her fifty years on the throne. Instead, the streets were full of sorrow.

Two days before scheduled celebrations, The Queen of The United Kingdom, Elizabeth II, passed away. Not only was it the death of an important colleague to the Danish Royal House but also the passing of a close friend. 

On Margrethe II’s past anniversaries, she stood on the balcony of Amalienborg, waving to those who came to celebrate. She was also scheduled to ride around the city in her carriage. But, out of deep respect for the sorrow in the United Kingdom, the Danish public celebrations were canceled.

Amalienborg Castle on a typical day (Video: Sofie Rønnelund)

British Bloodlines and Two Reigning Women

Thomas Larsen, political editor at Radio 4, a former analyst of the Danish Royal House, and author of the book “Monarch and Human – a story about Margrethe II” – describes the relationship between the two queens as something both personal and empowering.

“Queen Elizabeth II was a role model for the Danish Queen. When Margrethe II ascended to the throne in 1972, she found great inspiration in Queen Elizabeth II, who suddenly ascended to her throne years before and took the job with great responsibility and dedication.”

Throughout the years, they formed a great bond as two reigning women – in a time where this wasn’t very common:
“Not only did two women reign over their nations, but they both also had husbands who had to endure themselves being secondary,” Larsen explains.

Queen Margrethe II and Queen Elizabeth II in Denmark, 1979. (Photo: Jette Ladegaard/Ritzau Scanpix)

He also stresses that British blood was already flowing in the Danish Royal House, which influenced the relationship between the two nations. But Margrethe II has always been very fond of the United Kingdom. 

Margrethe II grew up with the English language and attended a Scottish boarding school. Later, she studied archaeology at Cambridge.

She admired Winston Churchill and how the British fought against Nazi Germany. The Nazies occupied Denmark, and the British were the first people to come to Copenhagen after the liberation, Larsen emphasizes. 

He even claims that the Danish Queen has said that she could imagine a life in the United Kingdom if she weren’t on the throne.

A Close Friend Behind the Cameras

Another interesting detail the analyst says went under the media radar was that the Danish Queen visited Queen Elizabeth every year at Christmas. 

They met in private, indicating that their friendship was personal. 

Son of Margrethe II, Frederik, Crown Prince of Denmark, referred to the death of Elizabeth II as “the loss of a close friend” in his speech at the anniversary dinner held on the eve of September 10th. The only event of four not canceled.

The Queen Forwards Own Personal Letter 

“Ironically, some papers criticized the Royal House for not responding quickly enough to the passing, but Margrethe II waited until she could give her personal condolences in a letter. She felt the condolences should come from her, not the media, showing the personal nature of their relationship,” Thomas Larsen stated.

The Royal House’s condolence sent to the British Royal House (Photo: @detdanskekongehus on Instagram).