During times more than 50 monarchs have come to the Danish throne. Since 1972 the monarch has been Queen Margrethe II, and her son Frederik is expected to succeed the throne after her. The primary daily tasks for the queen are to represent the country and set a good example for the Danes. Her personal interests in art and culture and the world in general take her to a lot of places on earth every year. Sometimes she travels with her beautiful wooden ship, “Kongeskibet Danmark”.
More than 1 out of 4 European countries has a monarchy. Most of these are not absolute monarchies but constitutional, which means that the monarch has no political power – because this power lies with the prime minister or president. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monarchy)
The Danish monarchy is one of the oldest ones in the world and until 1848 it was an absolute monarchy. In 1848 the first prime minster took office and the role of the monarch was changed radically. Queen Margrethe II is for instance not allowed to express her political point of view and she does not have any power of political decisions. In spite of this she must sign all new laws.
During the week most Danes do not really think about the fact that the country is a monarchy. Only on days of royal events as christenings and weddings the royal family is very much in the spotlight – people watch the celebrations on TV or even wait outside of the royal residence where the party is – for instance Amailienborg, where the queen lives or Fredensborg (in the picture), where the royal events often take place.
New Year’s Eve is probably the time of the year where most attention is put on Queen Margrethe II. At 6 PM everybody is waiting in front of the TV to hear the speech of the queen and say cheers to each other. This speech to the Danish population reflects the queen’s human interests and concerns about some of the events that the country and the world have experienced during the previous year. She always ends up with a greeting to the dispatched soldiers and sailors and a happy new year to the whole population.