The Danish Monarchy traces its roots to Gorm the Old (d. 958), making it more than 1000 years old and one of the oldest monarchies in the world. The current Royal House, the House of Glücksborg, is tied by marriage to most of the royal families of Europe and celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2013.
Although absolute monarchy was abolished with the adoption of the Danish constitution on 5 June 1849, the monarch is still formally responsible for signing all Acts of Parliament and for formally appointing a new government. More than 150 years after the introduction of democracy, the Royal House still enjoys widespread popularity and approval among the Danes.
The current monarch is Her Majesty (H.M.) the Queen Margrethe II who celebrated her 40th anniversary in 2012. H.M. the Queen is married to His Royal Highness (H.R.H.) the Prince Consort Henrik with whom Her Majesty has two children: H.R.H. Crown Prince Frederik and H.R.H. Prince Joachim, born 1968 and 1969, respectively.
An avid artist in the fields of, among others, painting, decoupage works, and scenography, H.M. the Queen has exhibited her works both in Denmark and abroad. Some of the Queen’s works are inspired by Greenland and the Greenlandic people, with whom the Queen has a long and very close relationship.
Surrounded by sea on three sides and bordering mainland Europe on the fourth, Denmark, like Croatia, has always been influenced by its surroundings, over time evolving into a nation with a proud maritime tradition. In fact, Denmark is the 5th largest maritime shipping nation in the world.
In earlier times the homeland of sea-faring Vikings, Denmark underwent an enormous expansion through the determined efforts of a succession of kings in the Viking and Early Middle Ages. In the 15th and 19th centuries, however, Denmark shrunk to its current size: 43,000 square kilometres and 5.6 million inhabitants surrounded by 7,314 kilometres of shoreline, that is, smaller by a fifth than Croatia, but with a bigger population.
Nowadays a peaceful and technologically advanced society, Denmark has one of the highest standards of living in the world and a high degree of social, economic and gender equality. Despite their ideological disagreements, when it comes to crucial reforms and issues, Denmark’s political parties have developed a tradition for across-the-divide cooperation that dates back to the adoption of the first constitution in 1849, making for a stable political climate.
Denmark is the world’s sixth most globalized country, in part due to a very high degree of internationalization among Danish companies. The Danes themselves have repeatedly ranked first in terms of happiness, which to a large extent can be attributed to the Danish welfare system that combines a flexible labour market with comprehensive benefits and an active labour market policy. Free, tax-paid education and healthcare, a high level of mutual trust, and a 94 percent workplace satisfaction also serve to maintain a general sense of optimism and well-being.
With Danish culture, design, and New Nordic cuisine recognized around the world, and its well-known emphasis on green solutions and sustainability, Denmark continually aims to be at the forefront and often plays a bigger role than its size warrants.