The Danish monarch swapped royal regalia for a simple straw basket when she visited the market in Cahors. The queen, who is currently staying at her Château de Caïx summer residence, was smiling broadly as she chatted with the other shoppers
Photo: © Rex
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Margrethe is well-known for her down-to-earth approach to royal life
Photo: © Rex

11 AUGUST 2005

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Queen Margrethe of Denmark revealed her down-to-earth side as she cast aside the formalities of royal life this week with a trip to a local market to pick up some fruit and veg.

The 65-year-old, currently on vacation in France, caused quite a stir when she arrived in the nearby village of Cahors to see what local traders had to offer. Casually dressed in a floral skirt and vibrant pink top, the monarch seemed to be thoroughly enjoying her conversations with stall owners as she strolled from stall to stall.

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Her willingness to get out and mingle with normal people will come as no surprise to those who are familiar with the Danish royal household. Since she acceded to the throne in 1972, the Queen has earned a reputation as one of Europe's most easy-going monarchs.

Throughout the winter she holds audiences with the public so they can raise any issues they are concerned about. During her annual visit to Château de Caïx, the family's summer retreat in the south of France, she generally prefers to devote her time to more personal pursuits like painting and writing, though.

She isn't the only member of her family who's inclined to keep things on a more familiar footing. Her enormously popular daughter-in-law, Crown Princess Mary, has revealed she is planning to be a hands-on mum when her first child arrives in October. "I will be a 100 per cent mother – my children will not be brought up by nannies," she said. "My life is not a fairytale – my life is very real."

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