Grand Duchess Maria Teresa shows her affection for her husband. Luxembourg's Grand Duke turned 50 on Saturday
Photo: Rex
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A smiling Margrethe waves to her subjects as Henrik, Joachim and grandchildren Nikolai and Felix look on
Photo: AFP

18 APRIL 2005

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Royal revelry reigned over the weekend, with two of Europe's favourite sovereigns celebrating landmark birthdays.

Denmark's much-loved Queen Margrethe, who has just turned 65, was cheered by a huge crowd of well-wishers when she appeared on the balcony of Amalienborg Palace on Saturday. And Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg was also enjoying the adulation of his subjects as he rang in his 50th birthday with a party in the Grand Ducal Palace.

Accompanied by his wife Maria Teresa, the monarch made a typically impressive entrance by roaring into the palace on a powerful motorcycle. The Duchess had to hold on tight to her husband while they were on the move, but she obviously isn't averse to wrapping her arms around him because they also were photographed in a tender embrace later in the day.

Queen Margrethe, meanwhile, was in similarly affecctionate form. The happiness was written all over her face when she stepped onto the balcony with husband Prince Henrik, son Joachim and grandsons Felix and Nikolai.

The ever-popular Prince Frederik and Princess Mary couldn't make it along, as they are currently on a state visit to Japan, but the monarch was keen to express her fondness for her daughter-in-law. "It must be strenuous to come to a new country and take on her position," she said of the pretty Australian. "She's doing a great job and I'm a proud mother-in-law."

grand duke henri, queen margrethe, princess mary