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Thousands turn out to see Danish royals mark Queen's birthday

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Queen Margrethe of Denmark

celebrated her 69th birthday on Thursday surrounded by her loving family and saluted by a thousand well-wishers who gathered in front of Amalienborg Palace to mark the occasion.

Huge cheers and applause greeted the elegant monarch as she made her traditional birthday appearance with her husband Prince Henrik, sons Crown Prince Frederik and Prince Joachim and their families, on the balcony of Christian IX Palace.

While she was the focus of the day, the doting grandmother-of-four made sure the youngest members of her family – Frederik and Mary's children Prince Christian, three, his little sister Princess Isabella, who will be two on Thursday, and their cousins, Joachim's sons, nine-year-old Prince Nikolai and Prince Felix, six – were made to feel part of the celebrations.

Encouraging the little ones to join in, the monarch – who opted for a vibrant pink scarf and blouse to wear on her special day – led the crowd, many of whom were proudly waving small Danish flags, in a rendition of Happy Birthday.

While her big brother Christian seemed perfectly at ease in front of such a large gathering, Isabella was initially a little more apprehensive. Although she started off in Crown Princess Mary's arms, the tiny princess' inquisitiveness soon got the better of her. And she joined Christian on the floor playfully poking her head through the railings to better see the crowds.

For blossoming Princess Marie, who'll soon be extending the family further with the birth of her first child next month, the annual turn out was her first as the wife of Prince Joachim, whom she wed on May 24, 2008.

Photo: Rex
To celebrate her 69th birthday, Queen Margrethe made her traditional balcony appearance surrounded by her family. From left, Crown Prince Frederik, his daughter Princess Isabella, Crown Princess Mary, Prince Christian, the queen, her husband Prince Henrik, Prince Joachim's two sons Prince Nikolai and Prince Felix, expectant Princess Marie and her husband
Photo: Rex
Doting grandparents Margrethe and Henrik made sure little Prince Christian had a good view of the thousands of well-wishers who turned out to mark the event

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