A little more popular at home than Britain’s Queen Brenda the Last, and with a family almost as dysfunctional as the Windsor-Saxe-Coburg-und-Gothas, Denmark’s Queen Margrethe II today celebrates her 71st birthday. Tillykke med dagen, Majestæt!
Unlike her English third cousin twice removed, Margrethe Alexandrine Þórhildur Ingrid works for a living, sort of (she illustrates children’s books), and is notable for being a chain smoker. Very un-PC in this age of health fascism, but all the same characteristically Danish.
Denmark is often viewed by ignorant furriners as a land of social-democratic uniformity, but ’tis not so. The Danes are a robust, independent and individualistic people, with a healthy attitude toward authority. Since 2007 it has been illegal to smoke in public buildings, but the law is routinely flouted in pubs and clubs, and the authorities dare not enforce it across the board. Contrast this with England, where people do what they’re told, with no more than a muted whinge. Baah!