The cousin of Queen Elizabeth II — and the only remaining queen in Europe — had to scale back her own jubilee this weekend due to the elder monarch’s death.
Denmark’s Queen Margrethe II, 82, was set to pull out all the stops to mark her 50-year reign but was forced to cancel much of her Golden Jubilee, which had already been postponed due to COVID-19, according to The Sunday Times.
A Copenhagen carriage ride Saturday was called off, and a Sunday lunch with members of other Scandinavian countries was expected to have a solemn, not celebratory tone, according to the British paper.
Margrethe is now Europe’s longest-serving monarch. The chain-smoking queen was a third cousin to Elizabeth, and the two were close, the article said.
They reportedly called each other by their nicknames “Lilibet” and “Daisy” and Elizabeth invited Margrethe to lunch every time she was in London.
“Your mother was very important to me and my family,” Margrethe reportedly wrote to King Charles III. “She was a towering figure among the European monarchs and a great inspiration to us all. We shall miss her terribly.”
Crown Prince Haakon of Norway and his wife, Mette-Marit, both 49, canceled a trip to the United Kingdom this week and Haakon’s father King Harald V, 85, was said to be especially grieved by the death of Elizabeth, who was his second cousin, the outlet reported.
Outpourings of sorrow have come from leaders all across Europe, as media coverage of the high profile and widely admired queen’s death dominated the entire continent, overshadowing politics and even war, the article said.
Relations between leaders in the UK and its historic rival France had been adversarial of late, strained by Brexit and migrant crossings. However, the sense of grief was palatable across the channel, where the “petite princesse anglaise” made her first royal trip abroad while she was pregnant with the current king, according to the newspaper.
“To you, she was your Queen. To us, she was The Queen,” French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted. “She will be with all of us forever.”
Tributes also poured in from German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who praised her for her reconciliatory stance after World War II, and Polish President Andrzej Duda who said Elizabeth was the “embodiment of everything that makes Britain truly great.”
Even as war returned to the continent for the first time since 1945 after Russia’s February invasion of Ukraine, leaders paused to pay their respects to the 96-year-old, who reigned over England for more than seven decades.
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky offered his “thoughts and prayers,” while warring Russian President Vladimir Putin said she “rightfully enjoyed the love and respect of her subjects, as well as authority on the world stage.”