Scaled-down festivities in Denmark for queen’s 50-year reign

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Danish Queen Margrethe arrives to luncheon on the Royal Yacht Dannebrog in Copenhagen, Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022. The luncheon held on the Royal Yacht Dannebrog to mark the 50th anniversary of Danish Queen Margrethe II’s accession to the throne. (Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix via AP)

HELSINKI (AP) — Scaled-down celebrations took place Sunday in Denmark marking 50 years on the throne by Queen Margrethe, whose reign is now Europe’s longest following the death of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II.

Dampened celebrations were ordered Friday by the 82-year-old Margrethe — now also the only female monarch in the world — in respect for Britain’s late queen, who died Thursday at 96.

Margrethe asked her court to adjust Saturday’s and Sunday’s anniversary program at a short notice, cancelling — among other things — her appearance on the Amalienborg Palace balcony to greet throngs of well-wishers as well as a ride through the Danish capital of Copenhagen in a horse-drawn carriage.

Sunday’s events included a church service and a lunch hosted by Margrethe on board the Danish royal ship Dannebrog for the royal couples and presidents from the fellow Nordic countries of Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.

A music and theater gala honoring the Danish monarch took place on Saturday evening and a gala dinner at Christiansborg Palace — the seat of the Danish Parliament — was taking place late Sunday.

Margrethe was proclaimed queen on Jan. 15, 1972, a day after her father King Frederik IX, died following a short illness.

The 50th anniversary jubilee for the Danish queen was initially scheduled for January but most events were canceled or postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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