The people of Denmark are gearing up to celebrate a very important date – the 70th birthday of their beloved Queen Margrethe, which falls on April 16. In the weeks leading up to the big day, there have already been exhibitions, books, a TV documentary, concerts and galas in her honour. To mark the coming occasion the monarch also held a press conference in Fredensborg Palace, north of Copenhagen (pictured). During it, she put paid to recent rumours that she might pass the crown on to her son Prince Frederik and retire to France with her French-born husband Prince Henrik.
"I will continue for as long as I'm able," she told journalists. "I'm not going to slow down, there is still much to do, important things to accomplish." Two weeks ago the Moesgaard Museum in Aarhus opened an exhibition titled Queen Margrethe and Archaeology, which documents the sovereign's early interest in the subject. And the queen herself was at the Skovgaard Museum in Viborg last week to attend the opening of a collection of her paintings, ranging from works from her childhood to those completed in the present day. Meanwhile, there have been further exhibitions in the museums of the royal palaces of Amalienborg and Frederiksberg, the first displaying photos and objects from significant points in her life, and the latter detailing important moments from both the sovereign's private and public lives. The exhibitions, books and other things are only a taster of what's to come, however. The main event starts on Tuesday with a dinner in Christiansborg Palace, where there will also be a music gala featuring popular Danish artists and foreign performers, including Cliff Richard.
Two days later there'll be another gala in the royal theatre and the big day starts at midday on the 16th when Margrethe and her family will gather on the balcony of Amalienborg Palace to greet their subjects in the courtyard below as she does every year (pictured in 2009). From there the Queen and Prince Henrik will journey by carriage to the centre of the city to the Town Hall, where they will be honoured with a lunch and various musical and theatre performances. Following this, the monarch and her husband will take to the balcony of the Town Hall to wave to well-wishers. The day will end with a gala dinner in Fredensborg Palace – a spectacular end to a special birthday.