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Celebrating the Queen's birthday

Photograph: iStock

Text: Josephine Wan

16th April is the birthday of Queen Margrethe II, and this year she is turning 81 years old. Birthdays are one of the most important events for most of us, and we always celebrate our own and our loved ones' birthdays. In Denmark, the Queen's birthday is often celebrated by the royal family and the whole nation. Last year Queen Margrethe II asked people to send a bouquet to one of the many older citizens struggling during isolation. I wonder what her plans are this year?

Queen Margrethe II and the Danish royal family

In case you haven't noticed, the Danish royal family and our Queen Margrethe II are extremely popular amongst Danes. They are considered a modern royal family, and they are very visible. Sometimes, you can meet the Queen and the rest of the royal family members jogging or cycling on the streets, shopping at the markets, etc., besides the official events they take part in.

Dannebrog everywhere

You already know the Danish flag (Dannebrog) is always involved with birthday celebrations. On the Queen's birthday, the Danish flag on many public buildings such as train stations are raised. Many ordinary families over the country also raise the flag for her. You will also see buses are decorated with flags in the front. It looks festive everywhere on this day.

Greeting the Queen in front of the balcony of Amalienborg Castle

Amalienborg Castle is the Queen's residence, and it has become one of her birthday traditions where crowds stand in front of the Amalienborg Castle - waiting for the Queen and the royal family to step out onto the balcony to greet her on this special day. Occasionally, the Queen's birthday falls over the Easter holiday. Often the Queen and her family spend their Easter holiday at Marselisborg Castle. If they happen to be residing at Marselisborg Castle on her birthday, they will also appear on the veranda to meet the crowds who come to greet her on her special day. Of course, many of them come with Dannebrog and wave them as they sing birthday songs to the Queen.

"Crowds stand in front of the Amalienborg Castle - waiting for the Queen and the royal family to step out onto the balcony to greet her on this special day."

Her 80th birthday last year

Last year, a large celebration over the whole country was planned to mark the Queen's 80th birthday. However, as we all know, the celebration was cancelled and postponed due to the COVID 19 situation at that time. Of course, people didn't forget about the Queen's birthday. Dannebrog was still raised everywhere, people were posting birthday wishes all day on social media. TV station DR also arranged a programme where they had invited different artists to sing for the Queen, and the Queen held a special birthday speech to the whole nation. In her speech, she thanked people for their wishes and thoughts. Besides expressing her appreciation, she also showed empathy and sent encouragement during this challenging period to the whole nation. In this way, the whole of Denmark celebrated the Queen's birthday together, her birthday bringing the whole nation together yet again, despite the physical distance due to COVID 19.

Meet and greet on hold

If you were wishing to get a glimpse of the Queen on her upcoming birthday this year, sadly - it will have to wait. It's just been announced that the Queen will be celebrating her birthday this year privately at Fredensborg and won't be coming out on the balcony to meet and greet those who come to celebrate her. Maybe next year?

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