Queen Margrethe and Prince Consort Henrik were driven by coach through Aarhus last week. Photo: Henning Bagger/Scanpix
As Queen Margrethe II prepares to celebrate her 75th birthday on Thursday, she has already been given a great gift from her people.
A new opinion poll released on Wednesday showed that the queen is still largely beloved by Danes and that they are in no hurry to see her abdicate the throne, which she has held since 1972.
Just 18 percent of respondents in a Megafon poll conducted for TV2 and Politiken thought that the queen should step down now.
But when it is her time to go, Danes are positive about Crown Prince Frederik’s abilities to serve as an ample replacement. According to the poll results, 73 percent think Frederik is well cut out to be king.
The poll results are a sign that the Royal Family is riding a high, according to historian Sebastian Olden-Jørgensen.
“There is a strong majority that believes Frederik will do a good job if he takes the throne now. But still the majority opinion is ‘not now, thank you very much.’ That in someways is contradictory but it reflects the Royal Family’s double success: the queen is solidly popular and is still fully capable. On the other hand, there is great satisfaction with Frederik,” he told Politiken.
Olden-Jørgensen doesn’t foresee Frederik taking his mother’s place soon.
“National symbols don’t step down just because of age, at least not in Denmark. A massive drop in popularity – like what happened in Spain – could be a reason, but it is unlikely,” he said.
When Queen Margrethe hits her milestone on Thursday, she will have a full day of celebrations, both public and private. The day will begin with a family birthday party at 8.30am at Fredensborg Palace in northern Zealand.
The Royal Family will then make her way to Amalienborg, where true to tradition she will wave to the gathered masses at 12pm. The queen will then be driven by coach through the streets of Copenhagen to the City Hall, where she will attend a lunch reception hosted by Mayor Frank Jensen.
The three royals will be driven through Copenhagen in a coach that dates back to 1864 under the rule of King Christian IX. At Copenhagen City Hall, they are expected to make a balcony appearance at 2pm.
The Royal Family has announced that 80-year-old Prince Consort Henrik is suffering from the flu and thus will be unable to partake in the birthday festivities. Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary will instead accompany Queen Margrethe at her public appearances.
See the queen’s coach route here: