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Queen Margrethe's best photos to mark the end of her reign

Margrethe II will abdicate on 14 January in favour of her son, Crown Prince Frederik

Queen Margrethe
Danielle Stacey
Online Royal CorrespondentLondon
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Queen Margrethe will officially abdicate on Sunday 14 January – 52 years after she ascended the throne in 1972.

Following the Council of State meeting, Margrethe's son Crown Prince Frederik will be proclaimed King Frederik X of Denmark.

After the death of Queen Elizabeth II in 2022, Margrethe became the world's only queen regnant.

At the time of her birth in 1940, only males could ascend the throne of Denmark. After a constitutional amendment in 1953, she became her father King Frederick IX's heir presumptive.

Margrethe married French diplomat Henrik de Laborde de Monpezat in 1967, with whom she had two sons – Crown Prince Frederik and Prince Joachim.

Affectionately known as "Daisy," Margrethe is known for her love of art and fashion, creating illustrations for the Lord of the Rings books and working as a set and costume designer for a number of productions, including Netflix drama Ehrengard: The Art of Seduction.

In 2022, she marked her Golden Jubilee but scaled back the celebrations out of respect following Queen Elizabeth II's death.

Following her abdication, she will continue to be known as Her Majesty Queen Margrethe.

Take a look back at some of the best photos of the Danish queen in the gallery below…

Margrethe with her younger sisters, Anne-Marie and Bendikte in 1950© Getty

Royal sisters, 1950

Margrethe pictured during her childhood with her younger sisters, Anne-Marie and Benedikte. Anne-Marie went on to become Queen of Greece following her marriage to Constantine II.

Princess Margrethe of Denmark poses on her 18th birthday on April 16, 1959© Getty

18th birthday, 1959

An official portrait taken on her 18th birthday showing Margrethe looking like a Hollywood movie star in a white off-the-shoulder and sporting pin curls and red lipstick.

Margrethe and Henri's engagement 1966© Getty

Engagement to Henri, 1966

Margrethe met Henri at a dinner while studying in London in the 1960s. The French diplomat proposed to then princess with a jaw-dropping ring with two square-shaped diamonds, made by Van Cleef & Arpels.

The couple's engagement was announced by the Danish palace in October 1966.

Margrethe and Henri on the balcony on their wedding day 1967© Getty

Royal wedding, 1967

The happy couple wave from the balcony on their wedding day on 10 June 1967.

Margrethe and Henri were married at the Holmen Church in Copenhagen, with the royal bride wearing a silk wedding dress created by Danish fashion designer Jørgen Bende and the Khedive of Egypt tiara.

The couple enjoyed over 50 years of marriage until Henri's death in February 2018.

Margrethe and Henri with baby Crown Prince Frederik in 1968© Getty

First-time mum, 1968

Less than a year after their nuptials, Margrethe and Henri welcomed their firstborn, Frederik, on 26 May 1968.

At the time, Margrethe was heir to the Danish throne during the reign of her father, Frederick IX.

Margrethe, Henri, baby Joachim and Crown Prince Frederik in 1969© Getty

Second royal baby, 1969

Margrethe gave birth to her second son, Joachim, on 7 June 1969.

Queen Margrethe of Denmark with her husband Prince Henrik and their sons Joachim and Frederik at Marselisborg Palace in Aarhus in 1972© Getty

Family-of-four, 1972

A sweet snap of Margrethe, Henri, Frederik and Joachim at Marselisborg Palace in Aarhus in the year that Margrethe became queen.

First official photograph of Queen Margrethe after her accession in 1972© Getty

First official portrait as Queen, 1972

Margrethe became queen of Denmark following her father Frederick's death on 14 January 1972.

The pearl poire tiara is part of a suite that is most synonymous with the monarch.

Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik on her 40th birthday © Getty

Margrethe's 40th birthday, 1980

Eight years into her reign, Margrethe celebrated a milestone birthday which was commemorated with this stunning portrait of the queen with her husband Prince Henrik.

Reigning Sovereigns of Europe in 2002, including Queen Elizabeth II and Queen Margrethe© Getty

Reigning monarchs, 2002

A royal line-up! The then reigning sovereigns of Europe were captured altogether during celebrations for Queen Elizabeth's Golden Jubilee in 2002. 

Queen Margrethe was seated alongside Elizabeth II and Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands.

Standing behind them was King Albert II of Belgium, King Juan Carlos I of Spain, King Harald V of Norway, King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden and Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg.

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark poses at a viewpoint over National Park Thy in Hanstholm during her summer voyage© Getty

Summer vacation, 2021

A carefree Margrethe pictured during her summer break at National Park Thy in Hanstholm.

Queen Margrethe wearing a green lace gown in front of flags during Germany state visit 2021© Getty

State visit, Germany, 2021

Dazzling in diamonds and a beautiful green lace gown for a state visit to Germany, where she was accompanied by her son, Crown Prince Frederik.

Queen Margrethe with her eight grandchildren© Getty

Proud grandmother, 2023

Queen Margrethe with her eight grandchildren on the balcony of Amalienborg Palace as she marked her 83rd birthday. 

Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary are parents to Prince Christian, 18, Princess Isabella, 16, and 13-year-old twins, Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine. 

Prince Joachim has two sons, Count Nikolai, 24, and Count Felix, 21, from his first marriage to Alexandra, Countess of Frederiksborg.  

He and his second wife, Princess Marie, are parents to Count Henrik, 14, and Countess Athena, 11.

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