Hip hip hurray for Denmark’s Queen but role of monarchy questioned

Drottning Margrethe av Danmark  Photo: Johannes Jansson/norden.org

Drottning Margrethe av Danmark
Photo: Johannes Jansson/norden.org

On April 16 Copenhagen and all of Denmark celebrated Queen Margrethe’s 75th birthday and the media circus went crazy in its enthusiasm testing the limits of public tolerance.

Meanwhile the question more and more emerges on social media: why should Denmark still have a monarchy in 2015? Isn’t it just a waste of good money?

There are quite a few who can’t find the logic in having a monarchy in a modern democracy. There is no doubt that it costs to run a monarchy but seen from a business perspective, the return on investment is obvious in the form of tourism, opening gates for business to trade and other interests abroad.

Still it is claimed that the money used on maintaining the royal institution could be used for better purposes such as welfare.

A monarchy in a modern world seems indeed very old fashioned so why does it still fascinate us? A royal person, especially Crown Princess Mary or the Queen, on the front page of a magazine, sells.

In an overwhelming and fragmented world, it seems that many people need a fixed point to lean on when the world gets too confusing. This royal family represents continuity. Through the Queen you can look over your shoulders back 1000 years and trace a red line to

, who was the first confirmed king in Denmark and from whom Queen Margrethe directly descends.

One might also describe our fascination for the royal family as escapism from the daily treadmill.

The queen’s late mother, Queen Ingrid, might have caught the essence of the validation of the monarchy saying that as long as the person who bears the royal title acts as a role model it still has a raison d’etre.

If the queen or king doesn’t’ manage to capture our sympathy it could be the end of the monarchy. Luckily it has never been an issue with Queen Margrethe whose popularity was proved beyond doubt last week.

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