COPENHAGEN, Denmark — Danish Queen Margrethe II celebrates her 40th jubilee today amid massive public support for the monarchy among the 5.5-million-strong population.
A recent survey showed over 80 percent in favor of the monarchy, an indication that the queen has succeeded well in her role and suggesting that the Danish monarchy has the highest approval rating among the royal houses of Europe.
In 1972, when the then 31-year-old crown princess ascended the throne, sentiment was very different. Only 42 percent of the Danes backed the royal house, which claims a more than 1,000-year history.
Historian Jan Fabricius Moller attributed the dramatic swing to the fact that “the queen has never put a foot wrong during her reign.”
Critics of the queen are not easy to find, but the monarch, 71, is self-critical. She has stated that she was not a good mother to her sons, Crown Prince Frederik, 43, and 42-year-old Prince Joachim.
The queen also has had a guilty conscience toward her French-born husband, Prince Henrik, who a decade ago suffered somewhat of a midlife crisis and retreated for a while to his vineyard in the south of France.
“I did not offer my husband as much support as I should have. I overlooked the problem,” the queen said in a biography published last month.
The queen, known in the royal family as Daisy, can even admit that she still is a heavy smoker who has not been able to kick the habit.
She said she does not feel tired after her four decades on the throne, and her varied schedule and activities allow her to “completely forget how old one really is.”
She said this week that she had tried to “be herself” and not follow a designated plan.
When the queen ascended to the throne in 1972, after the death of her father King Frederik IX, she was less sure of herself.
She said she had asked her mother, Queen Ingrid, “Mother, what shall we do?” Her mother replied: “Daisy, you decide now. You have the say.”